Sale of Everett schools’ Colby building to YMCA finalized

EVERETT — The YMCA of Snohomish County on Friday finalized its purchase of Everett Public Schools’ former Educational Service Center at 4710 Colby Ave.

The YMCA and the district announced the sale in May, and ultimately agreed on a $3.325 million purchase price after a competitive bidding process for the lot and its buildings.

Part of the reason the deal took a long time to close was because the YMCA wanted to do a thorough environmental study on the site, which did not reveal any causes for concern, president and CEO Scott Washburn said.

The YMCA intends to demolish the old buildings on the 8.1-acre site and build a new Everett facility to replace its current building in downtown Everett.

Parts of the Everett Y are nearly 100 years old.

Plans have not been drawn up, and construction is not likely to start on a new YMCA before 2018, Washburn said.

“It’s too early to see what size facility will be built there,” Washburn said.

The current downtown facility has about 100,000 square feet of space, but there’s no elevator and much of the upper stories are underutilized.

The new building might have a smaller footprint, but would be used more efficiently and help the YMCA building bring in more members.

With 3,600 members, the Everett facility has the smallest membership and the largest building in the YMCA of Snohomish County system.

The YMCA has raised $4.9 million in an ongoing capital campaign, the proceeds of which will help finance the construction of a new facility.

Washburn estimated that a new Y will cost approximately $30 million.

“We hope to finance it through both contributions and other sources of funding to be identified later,” he said.

The proceeds of the sale will go into Everett Public Schools’ capital projects fund.

The school district moved out of the Colby building and the 104-year-old Longfellow building in 2013 to its new Community Resource Center on Broadway.

Attempts to find a buyer for the Longfellow building, located at 3715 Oakes Ave., have not been successful.

Chris Winters: 425-374-4165; cwinters@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @Chris_At_Herald.

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