By Gale Fiege Herald Writer
STANWOOD — The majority of people surveyed here in September want a YMCA.
More than 700 people were polled by phone while another 800 responded online from throughout the Stanwood-Camano School District area.
Asked about their potential use of the proposed YMCA, 54 percent of those called said they were very likely to join a Stanwood-Camano YMCA. Of those who took the survey online, 83 percent said they, too, would join the Y.
The survey was conducted in response to an effort by community leaders hoping to convince YMCA of Snohomish County officials to build a new Y in north county.
In April, after a private Stanwood facility closed the area’s only regulation-size pool, community leaders rallied to look for a solution, especially for students in swim programs and for elderly residents whose only exercise is swimming.
Stanwood Mayor Dianne White said that people in the area had long recognized the need for a community-based health and recreation facility and that’s why she and others contacted the YMCA.
The Stanwood-Camano YMCA Organizing Committee, headed by Stanwood-Camano Area Foundation Executive Director Theresa Metzger, is happy with the survey results.
“We are thrilled,” Metzger said. “We thank all of the donors who funded the $25,000 survey and everyone who took time out of their busy days to respond.”
The survey showed that membership projections at current YMCA price levels came in well beyond the 3,000 memberships usually needed to support a Y facility, Metzger said.
The most requested feature desired in a YMCA was a multi-lane swimming pool, she said. Other top requests included a weight room, a water therapy pool, an indoor running track, group exercise classes, a gym and rooms for youth activities.
Survey respondents were also asked where they would like to see a YMCA located, and most people said they want the Y built in downtown Stanwood.
The survey results were presented last week to the YMCA of Snohomish County Board of Trustees and the board invited the Stanwood organizing committee to participate in the YMCA’s capital planning process.
Organizing committee members are busy now researching potential locations, talking with potential donors and getting the word out to the community.
“While it generally takes several years to design, fundraise for and build a new YMCA, we are determined to do this as quickly as possible for the health of our kids, our families and our community,” White said.
Many volunteers are needed to support this effort, Metzger said.
To help, contact the Stanwood-Camano Area Foundation, 360 629-6878, or go to the Stanwood-Camano YMCA website, www.s-caf.org/Stanwood-Camano_YMCA.php.
Gale Fiege: 425-339-3427; email@example.com.
Stanwood-Camano Organizing Committee member Theresa Metzger plans to present the results of the YMCA survey to the Stanwood City Council at 7 p.m. Monday in the Stanwood-Camano School District administration building board room, 26920 Pioneer Highway.