Friday, November 4, 2005

YMCA breaks ground at Ketchum site today

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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