Watertown YMCA seeks more land for downtown project

WWNY Watertown YMCA seeks more land for downtown project

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - The Watertown Family YMCA is asking the city for a bigger strip of land for its downtown project in order to build a 7-lane lap pool.

“In our community, right now, the YMCA - our tiny little four lane, land locked, inside the building pool, is the only publicly available facility from Plattsburgh to Syracuse,” said Denise Young, Watertown Family YMCA CEO.

That’s how important YMCA leaders feel the facility’s pools are to the north country.

In the proposed community and aquatics center, the Y plans to construct a 7-lane lap pool.

Leaders are confident it’ll be an added draw to downtown as the larger pool attracts swimmers to Watertown to compete in regional and districts meets.

“All of our lap swimmers are going to benefit significantly, but also really the entire city of Watertown will benefit from bringing families from outside our region into our region and contributing to the economy of our region,” said Young.

It’s expected the 7-lane lap pool could draw 200 or more families to one event, bringing in between $150,000 and $300,000 in revenue as those people stay, shop and eat during a weekend in Watertown.

The pool plans are a tweak to the original designs. Because of structural reasons, the new pool will jet out from the existing building into the current parking lot. For that to happen, the city of Watertown needs to give the project some land.

“I think the city is certainly supportive of seeing this project happen because without this project, what happens to this big empty building in the middle of Watertown,” said Young.

The pool is part of the Y’s $18.1 million project to change the former call center building into a community fitness and aquatics center, which will have another separate recreational pool, several exercise rooms, indoor tennis courts, and more.

City council will consider giving the extra space needed for the project during Monday night’s meeting.

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