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Caroline YMCA due date now February

The new YMCA in Caroline County won’t be a Christmas present to the residents, as originally promised.

Instead, it may be a Valentine’s Day gift.

Keith Marine, the Caroline YMCA’s executive director, said he expects the new facility in Ladysmith to open in February.

The 41,000-square-foot facility is coming along, but there’s still much work to be done.

Some of the recently completed work includes a roof over the pools, toilets and tiling in the bathrooms, and padding going up on the walls of the gym.

It will have two pools: one for competition that is 25 yards wide by 25 meters long, and one for therapy.

It’s the first Y that will have a zero-depth-entry wheelchair-accessible therapeutic pool at its opening.

The fitness area, about 6,000 square feet, will have a large selection of cardiovascular machines, weight- and circuit-training equipment, and free weights.

The flooring there will soon be put in and in the 7,500-square-foot gym, which is at the rear of the building.

Marine said 25–30 trees were planted around the building this week. There is also electricity and plumbing in the building now.

The organization has also made progress setting up its board of directors.

Though there’s a board of directors that oversees all the YMCAs in the region, each facility has its own board, composed of members from the community where it is located.

Caroline will be no different.

Marine said he wanted the board to comprise representatives from each of Caroline’s six voting districts, a variety of professions, and men and women.

He’s asked about a dozen or so people, but the board has not yet been confirmed.

More than 350 membership units (either individual or family memberships) have been secured, but the goal is to have 1,000 by the opening.

The financing of the new YMCA has caused some tension among the Caroline Board of Supervisors.

The project came under scrutiny because county officials originally said the YMCA wouldn’t be funded with taxpayer dollars—but the board had to use about $60,000 in general-fund money July 23 to make a payment on the project’s $5 million loan when a capital campaign came up short.

Ten payments of $103,100 each are due every six months to cover the interest on that loan. The Aug. 1 payment—addressed in the board’s July 23 vote—was the fourth payment.

The next payment is due in February.

After the friction over the county using money from the general fund in the last payment, Bowling Green mayor and business owner David Storke announced that a new foundation would form in Caroline to raise funds for projects such as the YMCA and other recreational facilities and parks in the county.

The foundation is in the process of obtaining its non-profit status and setting up its leadership.

It has not yet started fundraising, Storke said.

Robyn Sidersky 540/374-5413

rsidersky@freelancestar.com

 

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