YMCA makes presentation to officials regarding possibility of bringing facility to Lakeway

Brian Rigby, the director of design at Gro Development, the contracted provider to the YMCA, addressed council during the Dec. 16 meeting. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)
Brian Rigby, the director of design at Gro Development, the contracted provider to the YMCA, addressed council during the Dec. 16 meeting. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)

Brian Rigby, the director of design at Gro Development, the contracted provider to the YMCA, addressed council during the Dec. 16 meeting. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)

According to city data, there is excess demand for a recreation center in Lakeway, and based on the level of enthusiasm brought about during a City Council discussion on the matter, a new facility could soon become a reality for residents.

Representatives from the YMCA and Gro Development, the contracted provider to the YMCA, gave a presentation to Lakeway officials during the Dec. 16 City Council meeting regarding the possibility of putting a recreation center somewhere in the city.

"This is something that has probably been in the works for over a year," Mayor Sandy Cox said, adding the Lakeway Parks and Recreation Department has been working on a solution to the situation.

A limited amount of space at the city’s swim center and Lakeway Activity Center have caused city officials and staff to review the best possible avenues for a cost-efficient way to bring new recreation space to Lakeway, according to information from the city.

Brian Rigby, the director of design at Gro Development, addressed council during the Dec. 16 meeting.

"It's really about who we're serving," Rigby said. "What are the demographics and needs of Lakeway?"

Rigby said the 21st century YMCA is not as conventional as it used to be and focuses on more diverse programs for healthy living, youth development, social responsibility and access for all.

Regarding the data, Rigby said, a project for Lakeway in the high-scope, 79,000-square-foot range would near $40 million. A base-scope, 60,000-square-foot facility would run about $28 million.

Those costs include construction, site work, parking, demolition and remediation, and pool tank allowance, according to information from Rigby.

"I think it's fair to say this is a real infant stage, looking at what we need," Mayor Sandy Cox said, adding one of the biggest gaps in Lakeway is teen programming. "We wanted to start bringing this into the community to see if it's an idea we want to continue."

Council Member Gretchen Vance asked about senior programming through the YMCA, to which James Finck, the CEO of YMCA of Austin, said senior programming is one of the fastest-growing programs in the organization.

"When you get to know the YMCA, you really do fall in love with us," Finck said, adding YMCAs are run by volunteer boards. "The community really does own the YMCAs. We don't own them."

Finck said right now YMCA membership is $82 a month, but there are supplemental options for seniors and people of varying socio-economic status.

Alissa Magrum, a Lakeway resident and the executive director of Colin's Hope, said during public comment she thoroughly endorsed the idea of bringing a YMCA to Lakeway.

Cox said right now the idea of building a YMCA in the city is still just a high concept, but there are already locations in consideration for the facility should a deal move forward.

Council took no action, but Cox said she is looking forward to more discussion on the matter moving forward.

"This is all very fresh, and we still have to figure out the pieces," Cox said. "I think the question to council is do we want to continue to look at this."
By Brian Rash
Brian has been a reporter and editor since 2012. He wrote about the music scene in Dallas-Fort Worth before becoming managing editor for the Graham Leader in Graham, Texas, in 2013. He relocated to Austin, Texas, in 2015 to work for Gatehouse Media's large design hub. He became the editor for the Lake Travis-Westlake publication of Community Impact in August 2018.


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