Eau Claire YMCA buys land for future expansion
The Eau Claire City Council this week approved a resolution to sell a seven-acre parcel of land at the northeast intersection of North Clairemont Avenue and Menomonie Street to the Eau Claire YMCA for $425,000. The local YMCA plans to eventually relocate and expand to the site, depending on its ability to raise the necessary funds for construction.
"We are looking at a $15-20 million project, with a building that has been downsized from 180,000-200,000 square feet to a facility that will be between 120,000-140,000 square feet," said YMCA Executive Director Ken Van Es, who added, "We needed more space to add new services, we would like to consolidate some of our services...and the building we are currently in is 50 years old and does not offer the layout and modern amenities that a new building would provide."
As part of the agreement, the YMCA will close the land purchase by the end of this calendar year, begin construction within three years of the closing date and pay for the removal of an on-site storage building by 2011. Van Es said the new complex could open by 2010.
"We will now begin our site planning and develop a fundraising campaign to begin the first part of 2008. We anticipate it will take two years to raise the money necessary to begin construction...and if we don't raise the funds we need, then we will look at building in phases," said Van Es.
One of the provisions of the agreement requires the YMCA to sell its existing 77,000-square-foot facility on Graham Avenue for no less than $500,000. TBL