EVERETT — After nearly 100 years, the Everett Family YMCA is getting an upgrade.
The organization broke ground Saturday on a building that will serve two to three times more people, as well as be easier to access for people with disabilities, said Scott Washburn, CEO of the YMCA of Snohomish County.
A few hundred people gathered to watch the ceremonial shoveling of the first few inches of dirt on the site at 4730 Colby Ave., as blue sky emerged through clouds.
Addressing the crowd, Washburn said the old facility, with no elevator and six flights of stairs, was not accessible to everyone.
“For the first time we will be able to serve all folks regardless of limitations,” he said.
The new multi-story 60,000 square-foot building will offer many amenities not available in the old building.
This includes two swimming pools, a 25-yard competition pool with a timing system that can be used for high school meets. A second leisure pool will contain a lazy river, warm water therapy area and provide zero-depth entry for easy access for people with disabilities.
An indoor track, a permanent space for the Big Brother Big Sister of Snohomish County program, a full-size gym, group exercise classes and a drop-in daycare also are planned.
Amina Hussein, 15, who was asked to speak at the celebration, spends many Saturday mornings at the YMCA. She participates in the My Achievers Program, a leadership group aimed at students of color and immigrants.
She said the new location, more centrally located, will benefit the community.
“It will bring new people, with new stories,” Hussein said. The Everett High School student is most looking forward to the new full-size pool.
The YMCA donated a southern portion of its land to be used as a neighborhood park for the Glacier View area. It’s expected to open in 2020.
“We’ve been waiting for this park for years,” said Carol Gogarty, 67, a resident of the neighborhood. She hopes the park, a first for Glacier View, will be a catalyst for bringing neighbors together and building a community.
The new building is estimated to cost $33 million. The YMCA is about $2 million short of its $17 million funding goal for the project. Proceeds from the sale of the old building also will be used to pay for project, Washburn said.
To get the last dollars needed for the new building, the YMCA launched a brick campaign Saturday. Donors will have their names imprinted on bricks that will be used for the plaza.
Construction is anticipated to start next month, with the new facility expected to open in fall 2019. The YMCA purchased the 8.1-acre site in 2015 for $3.3 million from the Everett School District.