The Jamestown YMCA shared their initial proposal with Jamestown City Council to build a $31 million new facility on Harrison Street, requesting $2 million in funding from the City.
Tom Benson presented on behalf of the Jamestown YMCA to council at its work session Monday night. He said the site on Harrison Street is a brownfield site and will receive tax credits to help offset construction costs. Benson said the Jamestown Y purchased the site for $1 from the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency and it’s shovel ready. He said a benefit of the location is that it’s close to the high school and to the city’s eastside.
Benson said the existing YMCA facility on East Fourth Street is one hundred years old and is not sustainable, “If we’re not successful raising the money to build this facility, the existing Y will be gone within two to three years. It’s just not sustainable. So this is kind of an all or nothing project.”
Benson said the organization is hoping to get $5 million of the funding from local foundations as well as support from the city, which he says is critical, “We have to be able to say to New York State, other foundations like the (Ralph C.) Wilson Foundation, other funding sources that this is an important project locally and here’s who’s in and have shown support. We haven’t had a chance to officially ask the city for anything yet, but we’re hopefully going to get to the point where we’re asking the city for $2 million out of the Federal recovery funds.”
Benson said the nearly 68,000 square foot facility will include 10,000 square feet of childcare space on the first floor, “So that’s enough for 90 kids. The Y is also going to keep its existing childcare space over on Prather, so that 90 spaces is incremental space.”
The facility also will include two pools, group exercise areas, a track for running and walking; gymnasium, and other exercise areas.
Benson added that Jamestown YMCA has entered into a management agreement with the Greater Buffalo YMCA.
If the project moves forward, he says there has been discussion to have the Gebbie Foundation “mothball” the East Fourth Street facility with the Lakewood location being turned into a rental-only facility for those wanting to use the tennis courts or other spaces. The Eastside Y location would have its programs moved and kitchen facility expanded.