Friday, November 4, 2005

YMCA breaks ground at Ketchum site today


By REBECCA MEANY
Express Staff Writer

Dirt will move today as the Wood River Community YMCA breaks ground on Ketchum's Park & Ride lot, north of downtown at the intersection of Warm Springs and Saddle roads.

The ceremonial event 12 noon Friday marks the beginning of the construction phase for the 84,000-square-foot recreational complex. Construction will formally begin in spring and is expected to take 18 months.

"The construction of the YMCA is only one component of a community-wide master plan conducted by the Blaine County Recreation District that indicated a facility was needed in the north valley and the south valley," Executive Director Teresa Beahen said in a news release. "The end-benefit will ultimately consist of facilities throughout the valley, including the Community Campus located in the old high school in Hailey, and a transportation center on the Park and Ride site. The YMCA is firmly committed to working collaboratively with local agencies in a way that will make future generations proud."

The Ketchum City Council in September approved a conditional-use permit for a planned-unit development for the complex.

The Planning & Zoning Commission approved the design review in July.

A year ago, Ketchum voters approved a city proposal to lease to the YMCA approximately one-quarter of the city-owned Park and Ride lot. The lot is located at the corner of Warm Springs and Saddle roads.

The YMCA will pay $1 per year over the 99-year lease period.

The city bought the lot in 1989 through a voter-approved general obligation bond.

A grand opening is planned for 2007.




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