The Family YMCA of Fayette County this week announced that it will move forward with plans to construct a $1.2-million building in Vandalia.
The 14,560-square-foot building will include a full-size gymnasium, a weightlifting and cardio area, a walking track, a multi-purpose room and locker rooms. It will be located on a 4-acre tract of land behind Miller Field, across Rock Island Avenue east of the Vandalia campus of Kaskaskia College.
YMCA Executive Director John Ashdown said that Fulk Construction Inc. of Brownstown has been selected as the general contractor, and Architectural Spectrum Dankert of Champaign is the architect.
Specifications and plans were sent to area subcontractors for bids this week, and are due back by Oct. 19.
Construction work will begin in early November, Ashdown said. The project will be complete next March or April, depending on the weather.
The new location replaces one on the east end of the KC campus that had been discussed for the past several months.
Ashdown said that construction costs and site preparation concerns on that site caused the YMCA to select the new location.
“This is an excellent site, because it connects directly to Miller Field, giving us 9 acres of space for our activities,” Ashdown said.
“It also eliminates the need to cross the street to get to Miller Field, which would’ve been necessary from the college site.
“Yet, this new location is still close enough to allow us to partner with the college on programs.”
For more than 20 years, the Family YMCA has been located on the second floor of a building at 109½ S. Fifth St.
“We’ve talked about this for years, and now it’s happening – that’s exciting,” said Rick Myers, president of the Family YMCA board.
“In building projects I’ve been involved with, there’s always a time when the property is purchased and people get excited about it.
"We hope that they will join the YMCA and get involved in the building project. This facility can be as big as the community wants it to be," Myers said.
Currently, the proposed building – a pre-engineered steel structure – measures 140 feet by 104 feet. Ashdown said that a 2,400-square-foot addition – containing a racquetball court and a batting cage – has been designed and could be added to the facility if additional donations are received before the end of October. Other alternatives that could be added to the facility include: asphalt or concrete parking lots, flooring upgrades, a gym divider curtain, a multi-purpose room divider wall and a storage shed. Twenty-four-hour access is another alternative being considered, and that would require some security upgrades.
“In six or seven months, we will be moving into our new YMCA facility,” said Ashdown. “Our ability to raise additional funds in the next month will determine the finished product. Many people have made significant donations to get us this far, and we appreciate their support. Others have indicated that they would like to make a donation to the project, and now is the time to do so. Once construction begins, it is much more expensive, if not impossible, to make changes and additions.”
For more information, or to donate to the project, call Ashdown at 283-1258.