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January 10, 2008

County approves use agreement for McIntire YMCA; pool details to be ironed out

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The Albemarle County Board of Supervisors has approved a use agreement for the proposed Piedmont Family YMCA to be built in Charlottesville's McIntire Park. The County will contribute $2,030,000 to the construction of the facility, which will include a gymnasium, meeting space, locker rooms, a fitness center, and other amenities.

City Council approved of a ground lease and use agreement at its meeting on December 17, 2007. The City will not contribute any capital costs to the core facility. The YMCA will conduct a capital campaign for the construction of the facility.

Details about the size and scale of the aquatic center also have to be fully worked out. The next step is for a team of negotiators from the City, County and the YMCA to discuss the size of the proposed aquatic facility. The City of Charlottesville is considering spending $1.25 million to guarantee that at least six lanes in the competitive pool will be set aside for use by Charlottesville High School students in the two hours immediately after school. The County is still considering whether it should make its own contribution of $1.25 million, or whether it should seek another option for the County's high school swim teams. Supervisor Ken Boyd (Rivanna) suggested that the County may choose to partner with other organizations to satisfy that programming need.

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Kurt Krueger, Piedmont Family YMCA

The scale of the aquatic facility could grow dramatically. Kurt Krueger, the Chair of the Piedmont Family YMCA, said the University of Virginia is interested in discussing adding a deeper diving well so that the facility could host collegiate diving competitions.

“There's maybe a very exciting opportunity over the next four months to really build an aquatic center for the community,” Krueger said.

The exact location of the YMCA is also being decided as part of a new master plan for McIntire Park, which is being conducted by the City's Parks and Recreation Department. That process has a deadline of May 20, 2008.

Supervisor Sally Thomas (Samuel Miller) wanted to know the value of the land in McIntire Park. Krueger said City Council has come up with a number of estimates.

“It's probably in the $600,000 range at least if not higher,” Krueger said. “The larger the facility we build, the more land we use, and the more valuable the piece of property becomes.” He added that the usage of the facility was projected to be 70 percent County residents, 30 percent City residents, reflecting the two jurisdiction's contribution.

The land will revert back to the City 40 years after the lease is signed. If the City elects to not renew the lease, it will also obtain ownership of the structure. In that event, the use agreement states County residents will continue to be allowed use of the facility.

1-11-08: Correction: Charlottesville Tomorrow incorrectly reported that the YMCA would be built at Piedmont Virginia Community College if the Master Plan process is not completed by May 20, 2008. In fact, the ground lease states that it will be built at the default location listed below inside of McIntire Park.

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Sean Tubbs

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