Second Harrison County YMCA Still Planned

The Exponent Telegram


(Clarksburg, WV - August 29, 2003)

Even though state funding was denied earlier this month, a Harrison County YMCA official says planning for a second site will move forward

"I'm still optimistic there will be a second site for the YMCA in the next 4-5 years, if not sooner," said Bob Stemple, president of the YMCA board of directors. "The need is definitely there. We're jammed at the Clarksburg center."

YMCA officials were hopeful that the state's Economic Development Grant Committee would support a request for recreational money at the proposed Charles Pointe project in Bridgeport. The city and Charles Pointe developers had jointly applied to the state committee for several projects. Only a hotel/conference center project has received tentative approval.

But that doesn't mean the secondary YMCA site is dead, Stemple said. It just means that alternative funding will have to be found.

"The board is on the record as having us move forward with that. (The state committee) was perhaps the first step to be taken, but it didn't happen," Stemple said. "We will continue our efforts and see what types of funding mechanisms are available. I'm sure it will be a combination of different ways to get revenues."

Preliminary plans are for the YMCA to build a second campus with services similar to what is now at Lowndes Hill. Additional services also could be added to the second site, Stemple said.

"Probably there will be multiple uses for other organizations in addition to the YMCA," he said.

Stemple stressed that the secondary site is not a replacement and that the current facility will not be closed.

The YMCA has more than 4,000 members, Stemple said, and the need for a second site, especially in the eastern part of Harrison County, is very evident.

When that need became apparent, the board decided to "begin the initial process of considering a second site," Stemple said.

The board has not had a chance to meet since the state funding request was denied. Stemple said the next board meeting is slated for late September.