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Treasure Valley YMCA ready to turn dirt in South Meridian

The YMCA is a central part of The Hill, a complex of buildings including a library and Hillsdale Elementary School, that is taking shape near Eagle and Amity roads. A proposed pool, not marked is this initial rendering of building placements, would be linked to the YMCA.
The YMCA is a central part of The Hill, a complex of buildings including a library and Hillsdale Elementary School, that is taking shape near Eagle and Amity roads. A proposed pool, not marked is this initial rendering of building placements, would be linked to the YMCA.

A South Meridian YMCA that’s been in the planning stage for more than two years will break ground later this month.

The Treasure Valley Family YMCA’s board of directors on Wednesday greenlighted the project near Eagle and Amity roads, even though it’s still $2 million short of the $18.5 million it needs for the building.

The project is expected to be completed next fall, said Dave Duro, Treasure Valley YMCA president and CEO.

They YMCA’s primary motive in moving on the project before all the fundraising is complete is to provide services to the Meridian area, Duro said. “We know people can benefit,” he said.

The announcement comes just weeks before Meridian voters will decide on construction bonds for a new swimming pool and a new Meridian library that also are meant to be part of the YMCA complex now named The Hill.

Among the facilities in the 62,000-square-foot Y will be fitness centers, group exercise studios, gyms, classrooms and a teaching kitchen, YMCA officials say.

“This is a very exciting moment for our YMCA”s history,” said Maureen O’Keeffe, YMCA board chair. “We are confident that continued generosity of the community will close the remaining (fundraising) gap to ensure the building is opened debt-free.”

They YMCA also will include 8,000 square feet operated by the Y and St. Luke’s Health System, where the community can get disease-prevention and rehabilitation-support services, YMCA officials said.

Western Ada Recreation District is seeking $20 million for two new pools, one at the south YMCA site and another in north Meridian at Black Cat Road and Chinden Boulevard. Meridian Library District wants two libraries, one for the YMCA site and one it hopes to locate at Black Cat Road. The two bonds total $32 million and together would add $25.57 per $100,000 of taxable value to homeowners’ property tax bills. Both bonds require a two-thirds majority vote.

Library officials tried for a bond in 2015, but it failed. Western Ada Recreation contemplated a bond in 2015, but backed off after it concluded that the public was not well enough informed on the project.

The Hill was first announced in November 2014. The project, which received $4 million from the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation, also includes a city park and Hillsdale Elementary School, which West Ada School District opened in fall to relieve overcrowding in schools south of Interstate 84. Much of the property for the complex was donated by Marti Hill, whose family farmed the land for more than a century.

Groundbreaking later this month

Groundbreaking ceremonies for the South Meridian YMCA are planned for 1:30 p.m. Oct. 25. The site is next to Hillsdale Elementary School, which is at 5225 S. Stockenham Ave.

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