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YMCA

YMCA to break ground today on downtown pool project

in Event/Local News/Place 264 views

WATERTOWN — The Watertown Family YMCA will hold a groundbreaking ceremony at 10 a.m. today for its $27.5 million downtown community and aquatics center.

The new center will feature a natatorium with a six-lane lap pool and adjacent recreational pool, multi-sport courts, indoor track, wellness center, classrooms and child watch facilities.

The project is expected to be completed in November 2023.

Also today, YMCA officials will host a groundbreaking and storytelling reception at the Savory Downtown restaurant from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

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Groundbreaking for YMCA project set for Wednesday

in Local News/Place 292 views

WATERTOWN — The Watertown Family YMCA will hold a groundbreaking ceremony at 10 a.m. Wednesday for its $27.5 million downtown community and aquatics center.

The new center will feature a natatorium with a six-lane lap pool and adjacent recreational pool, multi-sport courts, indoor track, wellness center, classrooms and child watch facilities.

The project is expected to be completed in November 2023.

Also on Wednesday, YMCA officials will host a groundbreaking and storytelling reception at the Savory Downtown restaurant from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

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Watertown YMCA closes 109-year-old downtown pool

in Place 269 views

WATERTOWN — For 109 years, generations of area residents have learned how to swim in the lap pool at the downtown YMCA.

But that long history with the community has come to an end.

The Watertown Family YMCA Board of Directors has announced that the pool that served so many will be closed permanently after a structural evaluation determined it was no longer safe.

The pool recently was drained and won’t be refilled, YMCA CEO Denise K. Young said.

Results of the most recent assessment recommended the closure and decommissioning of the pool to ensure the safety of members and guests, she said.

With the age of the lap pool, the YMCA has “done due diligence and conducted structural assessments twice in the past five years,” she said.

Despite the lap pool’s closure, the YMCA will offer lap pool swim opportunities at varying times in the recreational pool at the downtown center.

The Watertown High School pool also will be open to lap pool swimmers from 6:15 a.m. to 7:15 a.m. during the week, by appointment only through GroupEx PRO at the YMCA beginning on July 5.

The downtown facility’s lap pool has been a community asset for more than a century.

Five generations of Jefferson County residents learned to swim at the YMCA.

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Legislators vote down funding for Watertown YMCA project

in Local Business/Local News 564 views

WATERTOWN — The Jefferson County Board of Legislators on Tuesday voted down funding to renovate the former call center building on Arsenal Street, calling the entire future of the Watertown Family YMCA’s planned aquatic center project into question.

The plan was that the county would provide $880,000 in funding from its $22 million American Rescue Plan Act allocation to the Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency, which owns the building.

The $880,000 would be used to rebuild the walls, bathrooms and floors of the building, which was gutted last year to remove dangerous PCB chemicals found underneath the flooring. The IDA would sell the building to the Watertown Family YMCA after the renovations. The YMCA would then begin work on its estimated $27.5 million aquatic center, which would install two large pools inside the building, as well as support, programming and event spaces.

Jefferson County Economic Development CEO David J. Zembiec, who oversees the IDA, said the future of the project now depends on the Watertown Family YMCA’s board of directors.

“They have to vote if they want to move forward with this project or not,” Mr. Zembiec said after Tuesday’s vote.

If the YMCA board decides to move forward, it will have to find another way to finance the repair work. Board representatives could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

If the YMCA board votes to drop the project, then the IDA has several options. It can sell the building as is, with the flooring and lower 4 feet of drywall removed. The building is also without an electric service room, and will require wiring and equipment to be installed to power it. The IDA could also strip even more of the interior structure out of the building to make it more marketable.

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Environmental cleanup of YMCA project not quite done

in Local News 1,054 views

WATERTOWN — Local officials found out Tuesday that a little more work needs to be done to complete the environmental cleanup for the long-awaited YMCA project in a former Arsenal Street call center.

It should take less than a month to remove the remaining polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs from the floor of the 65,000-square-foot building at 146 Arsenal St. before actual construction on the community center project can begin.

David J. Zembiec, chief executive officer of Jefferson County Economic Development, said test results came back on Tuesday that showed the additional work on the cleanup needs to be done.

The results were discussed during a meeting on Tuesday afternoon.

At this point, 10 squares — out of 642 that were each 10 feet by 10 feet — will need to be completely removed “since we can’t scrape down any further,” Mr. Zembiec said, adding that fill will be added when the entire floor is resurfaced.

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