STANWOOD — The YMCA has purchased a site for its sixth center in Snohomish County, cementing the future of a Stanwood-Camano facility that has been in the works for four years.
The property is a former fitness club in Stanwood Village near Port Susan Middle School. A committee of eight volunteers reviewed about 30 locations before selecting 7213 267th St. NW, previously Resilience Fitness.
“One of the big things for us is it’s walking distance from three of the schools and pretty close to one of the elder care centers,” said Ken Kettler, chair of the Stanwood-Camano YMCA Organizing Committee. “It’s a good location in Stanwood.”
A committee of YMCA trustees finalized the $1.75 million purchase last week. A new center is expected to open in late 2016.
The organization plans to tear down the existing structure and build something new, said Scott Washburn, president of the YMCA of Snohomish County.
The YMCA has been looking for a home in Stanwood since 2010, when people approached the nonprofit in hopes of getting a new pool in town for swimming lessons, competitions and open swims.
Volunteers realized a pool wasn’t the only thing needed in Stanwood and Camano Island. For two years, they’ve put on family programs. Stanwood-Camano YMCA director Dawne Wentworth, hired in August, calls it “YMCA without walls.”
Summer meals and activities served 169 children this year, and a day camp drew 18 families. Volunteers also organize a therapeutic art program called Chill &Spill, a community service program, and academic coaching like Y-Achievers and College Goal, which helps families apply for financial aid.
This year’s College Goal event is scheduled for 6 p.m. Jan. 5 at Stanwood High School, 7400 272nd St. NW.
“The building isn’t here yet, but there’s a lot going on,” Kettler said.
YMCA programs are paid for by mix of membership fees and contributions like donations, grants or endowments. So far, staff and volunteers have raised about $8.4 million to build a Stanwood-Camano center. Once they hit $9.6 million, the organization plans to break ground. The goal is to do so by mid-2015.
The YMCA estimates the project will cost $18 million. Once it opens, the YMCA could hire up to 100 people, mostly part-time, Washburn said. The new center will need instructors, desk clerks and lifeguards.
“We absolutely will be relying heavily on local people for our hiring,” he said.
Planners haven’t decided what features to include in the building. Figuring out space needs and layout is the next step, while fundraising continues to close the nearly $10 million gap between the money raised and the project budget.
“Programs are just being developed,” Kettler said. “We know it’ll have some kind of pool or aquatic center.”
It also is likely to be two stories tall, with classrooms, event spaces and a fitness center. The YMCA tries to customize each center to suit the community it’s in, Washburn said.
The organization also is working on a plan to replace its Everett facility at 2720 Rockefeller Ave., Washburn said. No other new centers are planned.
Kari Bray: kbray @heraldnet.com; 425-339-3439.