tampabay.com

Oldsmar facility is steps closer

By TAMARA EL-KHOURY
Published March 27, 2007


OLDSMAR - Two years after the Oldsmar City Council first agreed to lease public land to build a YMCA, the facility is still years from reality. But there's been progress and soon residents and businesses will be asked for donations to fund the construction.

What's known so far:

- The Clearwater firm Klar & Klar Architects has been selected to design the building. It also designed the Palm Harbor Senior Center and an addition to the North Pinellas Branch YMCA.

- The city has promised to lease 10 acres of city-owned land between the fire station on Pine Avenue and the municipal center to the YMCA for $1 a year.

Elizabeth Dubuque, senior vice president and chief operating officer for the YMCA of the Suncoast, a nonprofit organization, said fundraising will start in the next 60 to 90 days. Here's what else she had to say:

 

Where is Oldsmar in the process to build a YMCA?

We're doing two big things: we're finalizing the lease with the city ... and we've been doing pre-capital campaign interviews with community leaders.

 

What's the estimated cost?

We still don't know because we haven't yet done the real drawings and the bidding of the projects. However, Dubuque said $5-million is a realistic estimate.

 

How is the Y going to be funded?

The building will be built with contributions of the capital campaign and the Y will be operated through membership and program fees.

In addition to that, a small portion of the budget is raised through annual campaign donations, which provide scholarships to children and families who are unable to afford the full cost of membership and programs.

 

Where is the status of the capital campaign plans for Oldsmar?

They're doing pre-campaign planning right now. What that means is we meet with key community leaders and start discussing the campaign with them to see who may be interested in making a donation.

 

Who are those leaders?

Everybody. (Head of the steering committee to bring a Y to Oldsmar) Linda Williams is our chair so we've been meeting with leaders at the city, leaders at the (Upper Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce), the new mayor and the new council. We've been meeting with business leaders, so everybody who's involved in making Oldsmar work.

 

What's the time line?

Probably at this point, we're looking at beginning building probably in 2009.

 

How long will it take to complete the building once construction starts?

That's usually a 12-month process.

 

What kind of amenities will this Y have?

An outdoor (L-shaped) pool... a wellness center, which many people refer to as a gym ... and a kids zone.

Tamara El-Khoury can be reached at (727) 445-4181 or tel-khoury@sptimes.com

Fast Facts:

 

How to help

If you'd like to find out about donating to the Oldsmar YMCA contact Elizabeth Dubuque at (727) 467-9622.

If you'd like to find out about donating to the Oldsmar YMCA contact Elizabeth Dubuque at (727) 467-9622.