New YMCA set to come to Mandan
By Brian L. Gray
Three years into the process, plans are now place to bring a YMCA to Mandan.
The Mandan Park Board approved four motions in working with the YMCA to construct a $10 to $12 million multi-use facility to southeast Mandan, just south of the Raging Rivers Waterpark.
While design plans have yet to be worked out, Bismarck YMCA Executive Director Bill Bauman said the Mandan YMCA will be similar to the facility in Bismarck.
Plans are to build a 41,000 square foot facility with a full sized double gym, a suspended running track, a fitness center, three fitness studios, childcare classrooms, offices, meeting rooms and lockers rooms.
The next step will be the design of the Mandan YMCA and the financing of the new facility. The funding process will take another two years, and the construction for the new YMCA is tentatively set for 2015.
“This hasn’t been without its hurdles and barriers, and it’s taken both parties to see it through,” Bauman said. “We’re being creative in what we doing. But the end goal is to bring a YMCA to the community of Mandan. This is a great location, and I think we’ll be great neighbors,” he told the park board.
The four motions were the purchase of 5.25 acres, the approval of a $950,000 loan for the land purchase, a joint powers agreement with the city of Mandan and a memorandum of understanding with the YMCA.
The park district purchased the land for $1.7 million. The Mandan City Commission previously approved a joint powers agreement with the park district, and approved $1.5 million to be disbursed to help with the purchase of the 5.25 acres. The money will come from the Mandan Visitor’s Fund, which receives its revenue from taxes collected from restaurants and lodging.
Talks began three years ago between the park district and the YMCA to bring a facility to Mandan. Some of the hurdles that were dealt with included where the facility would be located, who would own the land and how it would be paid for.
The park district will own the land and lease it to the YMCA, and YMCA will own the building.
If plans do fall through, the park district will reimburse the city with money received by selling the land. The YMCA will enter into a 50-year lease with park district, and will also have the first right to purchase the land. It can also cancel the lease at any time.
Bauman said the final product will be something the community can take pride in.
“In four to five years, we can look back and be proud of our efforts and have something we can hang our hats on,” he says.