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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

For the week of December 24 - 30, 2002


Cooperation key to recreation facility

YMCA officials say local effort 
admirable so far

"It takes 10 to 12 years of planning. Frustration is always there. You always want it quicker than it happens."

— JIM EVERETT, Boise YMCA manager

Express Staff Writer

Patience, persistence and cooperation are the keys to building a community recreation center, in the Wood River Valley or anywhere, YMCA officials told a group of roughly 50 at the nexStage Theatre in Ketchum Dec. 19.

Frustration is always part of the process as communities sort through the myriad issues associated with planning and building a facility, said Jim Everett, who manages the Boise YMCA and is serving as a liaison between the national organization and the Wood River Valley.

"It takes 10 to 12 years of planning. Frustration is always there. You always want it quicker than it happens," Everett said. "I think these struggles you’ve gone through are not unusual."

Since 1985, the Bill Janss Activity Center has been working to build a community recreation center in Ketchum and began discussing its plans with the YMCA several months ago. Also, for roughly three years, a grassroots group of Hailey citizens has been courting the YMCA as a potential partner in a Hailey-based community center.

But Jennifer Casey, a Boise YMCA volunteer, said it doesn’t matter where a facility is built. The Wood River Valley, as a community, is small enough to support a facility regardless of location, she said.

What’s more, Everett and Casey said planning efforts already under way in the Wood River Valley are impressive.

"We love the plan, but the community needs to love the plan," she said about the Janss Center.

"The planning, we think, has been great," Everett said. "I think it has been very thoughtful. My first impression when I saw plans for the Janss Center were, ‘This looks like a Y without a y name on it.’"

Everett said the YMCA would not become a partner in the Wood River Valley’s quest to build a recreation center without an official invitation, probably in the form of a formal application to the national organization.

One point the YMCA officials and visiting Caldwell Mayor Garrett Nancolis repeatedly hammered home was the importance of doing something.

"The worst thing that can happen is talking about something and never doing anything about it," said Nancolis, who is excited about a soon-to-be built YMCA in his city.

Nancolis said that, as soon as a site was chosen for the Caldwell YMCA, donations started pouring in.

"It’s just a fun process to watch it work when you put your differences aside," Nancolis said.

Citizens who attended the open house meeting said they were excited about the prospect of the YMCA becoming involved in the Wood River Valley.

"I sit here tonight in great support for this union," said Hulen Meadows resident Alex Sundali, a long-time proponent of improved swimming facilities. "I don’t care where it is. I think if you ask these two girls (sitting next to me) here, they wouldn’t care where it is, as long as it’s somewhere."


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The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.