Watertown YMCA Hopes To Build New Aquatic Center

Watertown YMCA Hopes To Build New Aquatic Center

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When it comes to downtown revitalization, part of Court Street could use it. Now, the YMCA is hoping to build a brand new aquatic, racquet and wellness center behind the deteriorating Globe Mini Mall.

It's welcome news for developers like Steve Bradley, who have invested a lot of money to revitalize buildings just up the street.

"It'd be nice to see something else at that end of the street. It would help the whole street, of course. I'm a little concerned, I guess I'd have to see more of the project to really know how I feel about the whole thing. I think about parking issues, that type of thing," said Bradley.

The $14 million project is just one of the proposals seeking a portion of the $10 million revitalization prize. YMCA CEO Denise Young says there's a major need for a facility like this; just head to the downtown YMCA's pools and you'll notice how packed they are.

"We have recognized that there's a need for more aquatics. We have the only public-access indoor aquatics facility and it's limited in size," said Young.

Although the Y's vision for a new aquatic center is a crowd favorite, it's not the only proposal that's in the running for a good chunk of state funding.

Other popular "big ticket items" in the running for state funding include the Masonic Temple, the Empsall Building and the Best Western.

Another revitalization proposal that could help offset the future concerns of parking is a garage on Stone Street.

When it comes down to funding the YMCA's new wellness facility, Young says it's going to take more than the $2 million they're estimated to get from the revitalization grant.

"Obviously, we're going to need community support. It will be, you know, does the community want this to happen? And if so, are they going to come out and support that happening with their time, treasure and talents," said Young.

The local planning committee will decide what projects share the $10 million grant by March 15.

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