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Sedro-Woolley to contribute $50,000 to new YMCA

The city of Sedro-Woolley has pledged $50,000 to the Skagit Valley Family YMCA to help it build its new facility.

“They are just so supportive and it’s really great to have that excitement,” she said.

Sedro-Woolley Mayor Keith Wagoner said he is proud his city is the first local government to support the YMCA’s plans and is excited about the benefits the new facility will offer to city residents.

“What the pledge does for us I think is really important because the pledge allows every single Sedro-Woolley citizen, regardless of their ability to pay, to use that facility for a monthly Sedro-Woolley swim night,” he said. “I think that’s going to save lives.”

Wagoner said he remembers when two local teenage boys drowned in 2012.

“I never want to see that happen again,” he said. “Think about the mom who is deciding whether it’s tennis shoes, or going for a swim. Now she doesn’t have to decide. One night a month they can go for a swim.”

The YMCA purchased 5 acres on Hoag Road in Mount Vernon in 2016 as the site of its new facility, with plans to break ground this year and open its doors in 2019.

Berg said he and his family are looking forward to having the new YMCA nearby, about 12 minutes from downtown Sedro-Woolley.

“We’re excited to have a pool that’s functional and close to home,” he said. “Right now the options are north ... to the city of Bellingham’s facility, or west to the city of Anacortes’ facility.”

Berg said the new YMCA will offer many services, but its two pools are a particular draw.

“We are so underserved in Skagit County with those kinds of services, yet here we are surrounded by cold, swift and dangerous waters in all directions,” he said.

In addition to two pools, the new YMCA facility is expected to include a full-size gym, a learning kitchen, a community room, more programs for youths and an early learning center with licensed day care services.

The $50,000 from Sedro-Woolley is the first pledge toward $2 million the YMCA hopes to receive from the county, and the cities of Sedro-Woolley, Mount Vernon and Burlington. The county and the other cities are considering contributing to the project, Pitner said.

The YMCA has raised $9.1 million toward the project so far.

Construction of the new facility, which will replace the YMCA’s 75-year-old building in Mount Vernon, is expected to cost $21 million.

This will be the first time the Skagit Valley Family YMCA will own the property on which its building is located.

The new facility will have a more central location in the county, which will make it more accessible to Burlington and Sedro-Woolley residents.

Pitner said the YMCA anticipates membership from residents of those cities will increase when the new facility opens. She estimates it would bring Sedro-Woolley membership from 884 to about 2,600.

— Reporter Kimberly Cauvel: 360-416-2199,

kcauvel@skagitpublishing.com

Twitter: @Kimberly_SVH

 

BOYS IN THE POOL
There are a great number of amazing Y stories, with some dating back to the very beginning.

Many people learned to swim here, and some even made a career out of it;
Earl Ellis is one of those people.

Check out the "Boys in the Pool" video to hear this inspiring Y story.