A major land donation has cleared a significant hurdle for the construction of a YMCA building in Polk County.
The Polk County Board of Commissioners recently accepted the donation of a six-acre plot of land, which is located at the intersection of Highway 74, Highway 108 and Fox Mountain Road, from John Montgomery and Clary Hood that will be the site for a YMCA.
This is an ideal location for a YMCA, as all of Polk County would be less than a 25-minute drive from the facility.
“We are very excited about this opportunity to bring a YMCA facility to our community,” County Manager Marche Pittman said. “This donation is a great kickoff for this project. We are extremely grateful to John Montgomery and Clary Hood for this donation. This type of generosity will leave a mark on Polk County. The community support so far has been outstanding.”
Over the past few years there has been talk of building a YMCA in Polk County for its residents to use. YMCAs across the country are committed to strengthening communities in youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility.
Polk County and the YMCA have had a working relationship for several years. In 2021, the Polk County Board of Commissioners entered into an agreement with the YMCA to run the County’s youth sports programming and the Gibson Park Pool. Polk County Schools invited the YMCA to run summer day camp in two local schools: Polk Central and Tryon Elementary Schools. Last year, the YMCA served more than 1,000 kids and families through these programs, providing more than $50,000 in financial assistance to make these programs and services affordable for everyone in our county.
In order to pursue a physical space for a local YMCA, a committee of citizens, the YMCA Development Committee, was appointed by the County to look further into this.
“I’m ecstatic about this huge first step in bringing a YMCA to Polk County,” said Michael Baughman, chairperson for the YMCA Development Committee. “John Montgomery and Clary Hood are to be commended for this significant contribution to our project.
“The most frequent question I receive about this project is, ‘Where will it be?’ Now we know,” Baughman continued. “It will be easily accessible to the entire county, as well as parts of Rutherford and Spartanburg counties. This is truly an idea whose time has come. Please join us in helping make it happen.”
If you remember, during the research phase, the YMCA Development Committee surveyed Polk County citizens about a potential YMCA. Over 3,000 residents provided feedback. Key findings of this feedback included 80% are likely to join the YMCA and 62% would be willing to drive up to 20 minutes to use the facility.
The highest interest areas, based on the feedback, were the following:
- Indoor pool
- Fitness center
- Indoor track
- Group exercise classes
The YMCA Development Committee has come up with a comprehensive design for a more than 30,000 square foot facility. Those initial designs include the following:
- Six-lane pool equipped for swim lessons, water aerobics, lap swimming, team competition and family recreational swimming.
- Multi-sport gymnasium: basketball, pickleball, volleyball, youth & adult sports, etc.
- Wellness center with state-of-the-art cardio and strength training equipment.
- Indoor walking track
- Full locker rooms for men and women with additional special needs/family restrooms
- Group exercise studio equipped for yoga, Zumba, spin, etc.
- Community Room for meetings and multipurpose special events
- Quiet room for personal reflection and spiritual wellness
- Welcoming reception / social gathering area with secure check-in
- Childwatch space to engage children while parents participate in Y programming.
- Ample parking
In the coming months, the YMCA Development Committee will continue work in order to finalize the facility design. Last month a fundraising feasibility study was conducted, which will help the Committee finalize the project budget. After the facility design is complete, the County will accept bids for the construction, which will further help determine the project budget.
A feasibility study is a crucial step in the planning of any project, and its impact on the success of the endeavor cannot be overstated. Polk County Government would like to extend our sincere gratitude to the Polk County Community Foundation for their generous support in funding the feasibility study for the potential YMCA project. This study will be instrumental in helping us make a well-informed decision regarding the potential project, and the foundation’s contribution demonstrates its dedication to the betterment of our community and helps to ensure the county’s resources are used wisely.
Want to help make a YMCA in Polk County a reality? Here are some way that you can help:
- You can learn more and support the great work that is already happening here by visiting here.
- You can reach out to the Polk County Commissioners and let them know you fully support this effort by clicking here.
- You can get involved as a YMCA volunteer by contacting Atticus Fehl at Afehl@spartanburgymca.org.