TRAVERSE CITY — It’s been a long, difficult road to unveil a new community YMCA: fundraising for the $17 million project collected $12 million, much of it in the headwinds of an economic collapse that spurred questions about the project’s viability.
Those questions are now in the past with a Spring 2014 finish line in sight for the new recreational facility on Silver Lake Road. Project leaders are raising $500,000 more from the public as construction workers put the final touches on the property’s exterior frame.
Members of the Grand Traverse Bay YMCA Board of Directors couldn’t be happier. They credit strong support from the business community, the Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation, and numerous private donors for making the spring opening a reality.
“It feels great,” said Marc Judge, past president of the YMCA Board of Directors and an executive at Traverse City State Bank. “There’s been a lot of community support for getting this Y going.”
Board members said there’s palpable excitement in the community, too. Classified ads for real estate in the Silver Lake Road area boast close proximity to the new Y. Current Y Board President Lynn Schultz predicts the Y will be an asset not just for users, but also business leaders who seek to bring new workers to northern Michigan.
“I remember when I moved here 23 years ago, thinking what a beautiful community we have, but it needs a new Y,” Schultz said. “The people who come to live in Traverse City, many of them are very health-minded, and having the ability to have a facility with a pool and a workout center and family center is a wonderful asset. It will help bring people to Traverse City.”
Project leaders gave the Record-Eagle a look this week of what the facility will look like when complete. Highlights include: