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Ormond Beach Observer Saturday, Apr. 11, 2015 4 years ago

YMCA could see major renovations

by: Wayne Grant Real Estate Editor

A fundraising campaign is now underway.

Wayne Grant

News Editor

The enlarged swimming pool at the YMCA is expected to open by mid-June, and now donors and YMCA officials are hoping to raise enough money to also renovate the building and grounds, plus add recreational opportunities and a dog park.

“It’s like when you clean a room in your house,” said CEO and President Teresa Rand. “You have to clean all the other rooms.” The pool and building were constructed in 1989, and some interior remodeling was done about 10 years ago. She said a renovation is long overdue.

YMCA members will get chance to learn about the new plans at a forum on April 28. Invitations will be sent out.

The existing YMCA was built with $2.2 million of corporate and individual donations collected in a two-year fundraising campaign, according to archived newspaper articles.

Leading the charge to raise money for the planned renovation is Charles Lydecker, retail division president of Brown and Brown Insurance Inc. He and Rand are currently having informational meetings with various groups about their plans to get feedback. Their goal is to raise $5 million, which includes money that was raised for the current pool renovation, and they have raised half of that amount, Rand said. Work would begin next year.

Rand said many people don’t realize that the Y is a nonprofit, 501c3 corporation.

“We have a product to sell, memberships, but we put it back into the community,” she said. She mentioned school-reading programs and Project 396, the Y’s youth development program. The Y also provides scholarships for income-eligible residents.

“What’s given in Ormond Beach, stays in Ormond Beach,” she said.

Donor says new YMCA will be a ‘feel-good’ place

Lydecker said the Ormond YMCA needs to be more relevant He pointed out that Daytona Beach no longer has a Y, and he wants to prevent that from happening in Ormond Beach. He said he travels to about 50 cities a year, and seeing other YMCA facilities has made him realize how badly the Ormond Beach location needs upgrading.

“Ormond Beach deserves the best,” he said. “It has a vibrant membership base and we want it to be part of the fabric of the community.”

Lydecker and his wife Chris donated $500,000 toward the current pool renovations.

One of the new features in the building will be a large community space, so people can socialize; more cardio workout facilities; and a kids’ zone. They also plan to light up and beautify the entrance road, as well as expand the parking lots and add another entrance from Sterthaus Drive.

Around a new dog park, they hope to have a “human-doggie fitness trail.”

“The whole place will be lit up,” Lydecker said. “It will have a ‘wow’ factor. It will be a feel-good place.”

When the pool opens in June, it will have 20 lanes of 25 meters in one direction, or 10 lanes of 50 meters in the long direction. The old pool only had eight lap lanes and was L-shaped

The deck will also be expanded. “The pool deck was not large enough for parents while their children were swimming,” Rand said.

The pool will get more improvements in the hoped-for next phase, including a splash pad for kids, and a staffed entrance with lockers so people can go directly from the parking lot to the pool area. Rand said they will have community days when nonmembers will be able to use the pool for a fee.

Rand said with the improvements, she expects about 50% growth in membership. Without the improvements, she said the future of the Y would be uncertain.

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