After Hurricane Harvey severely damaged four YMCA locations in the Greater Houston area, YMCA officials said in February the Holcomb Family YMCA project is delayed indefinitely until all existing locations are back up and running.
Construction on the Holcomb Family YMCA, located in the Falls at Imperial Oaks subdivision, close to the Grand Parkway, was originally slated to begin this year. YMCA of Greater Houston officials said. The $13 million project would serve portions of Conroe ISD and the Spring area on the east side of I-45 in South Montgomery County.
“Our association was hit really hard by Hurricane Harvey,” said Omoiye Kinney, vice president of marketing and communication for the YMCA of Greater Houston. “[The Holcomb Family YMCA] is a project we’re still evaluating, but our priority right now is rebuilding and assessing those YMCAs that were badly damaged and really focusing on how we’ll continue serving those communities now that we have to do it outside of our four walls.”
Out of the 32 total YMCA locations in the Greater Houston area, Kinney said four are still closed as of late February. Those locations include two larger facilities—the Lake Houston Family YMCA in Kingwood and the D. Bradley McWilliams YMCA at Cypress Creek, and two smaller facilities—the Northeast Family YMCA and the Cossaboom Family YMCA.
“Our focus for the latter part of 2017 and really for the majority of 2018 is going to be getting those two large YMCAs rebuilt and reopened and determining what’s going to be the best approach for our organization moving forward, because of the impact and implications from Hurricane Harvey,” Kinney said. “Then we can start to shift and look at the future opportunities we have on the docket.”
The Holcomb Family YMCA is planned to be built on a 10-acre tract of land that was donated by 830 Investors Ltd., which is the Holcomb family’s partnership. The area overlooks a 100-acre lake known as Lake Holcomb.
830 Investors Ltd. Director Jim Holcomb—and YMCA namesake—said a feasibility study was completed on the project in July 2017, in which 600 residents in the surrounding area were interviewed. The closest YMCA facilities to these residents are The Woodlands Family YMCA at Branch Crossing and The Woodlands Family YMCA at Shadowbend, both located west of I-45.
“[The residents in this area] really don’t have a YMCA, and it’s a very important resource—that’s why the feasibility study came back very, very strong,” Holcomb said. “They know the need is here. It’s just a matter of getting those other YMCAs rebuilt, and then they can refocus on the Holcomb Family YMCA project.”
To prepare the site for construction, Holcomb said his partnership is building a road on the property that will serve the YMCA facility upon completion, extending to the Grand Parkway. The road is expected to be finished within the next couple of months, Holcomb said.
In the meantime, Kinney said there will be no viable timeline for the Holcomb Family YMCA until the damaged facilities are reopened.
“I think in six months, we’ll know a lot more about what they’re going to do [with the Holcomb Family YMCA],” Holcomb said. “The feasibility is really strong. And we originally agreed to give them the land plus seed money and that is certainly still the intent. We want to help them in any way that we can.”
Upon completion, the Holcomb Family YMCA will host a variety of programs, such as after-school care, day camps, swim lessons, teen achievement groups, drowning prevention classes and personal wellness training.