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Copyright © 2003 Express Publishing Inc.
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Wednesday, April 21, 2004


YMCA director ups ante

Ketchum group eyes
spring 2005 construction start

"For this entire community, (the YMCA) is going to be a destination."

TERESA BEAHEN, Wood River Community YMCA executive director

Express Staff Writer

The new head of the Wood River Community YMCA is planning to pursue an aggressive fund-raising campaign that could allow construction of the proposed facility to start next spring.

Rick Tallman, left, a Denver-based YMCA fund-raising consultant, and Teresa Beahen, left-center, the new executive director the Wood River Community YMCA, last Friday joined the local YMCA group’s board chair, Cynthia Murphy, and campaign director, Mike Wolter, in reviewing plans at the site of the proposed recreational facility in Ketchum. Express photo by Willy Cook


Teresa Beahen, a seasoned YMCA executive with 20 years experience, was hired earlier this month as the executive director of the Wood River Community YMCA. The Ketchum-based group is planning to build a $16-million recreational facility on the city of Ketchum’s Park and Ride lot, north of downtown.

"I have the utmost confidence that it is going to happen," Beahen said in an interview Friday, April 16.

She added: "For this entire community, this is going to be a destination."

Beahen is currently vice president of membership, marketing and development of the Metro Denver YMCA group. In that capacity, she serves as executive director of the Littleton Family YMCA, in the Denver area.

Beahen—who will start work with the Wood River Community YMCA on June 1—said she has not drafted a timeline for developing the Ketchum YMCA but has discussed a set of goals with the group’s board of directors.

She said the organization currently has $4 million reserved for the project, plus a pledge from the city of Ketchum for an additional $3 million.

Ketchum City Council members are scheduled today at 11 a.m. to discuss the city’s options for meeting its pledge to the YMCA.

However, City Administrator Ron LeBlanc said Tuesday the pledge is not guaranteed until the council actually allocates the funds.

"I don’t think it’s a done deal," he said.

Ultimately, the YMCA group is seeking to have $10 million to $12 million by mid-August, Beahen noted.

"And we’re nearing the end by that time," she said.

If fund-raising efforts continue to meet expectations in the next year, Beahen said, the YMCA group could break ground on the project as soon as spring 2005. Construction would likely take a year to 18 months to complete, she said.

In her current post, Beahen is assisting in the development of a new YMCA in the Denver suburb of Aurora. Similar to the proposed Ketchum facility, the Aurora YMCA is designed to include an ice rink.

Beahen said ice rinks and swimming pools "are expensive to build and expensive to run," but believes community support in the Wood River Valley is adequate to build and maintain such facilities.

The proposed 85,000-square-foot Wood River Community YMCA—which was formerly called the Bill Janss Community Center—would include an ice rink that converts to an events center, two swimming pools, an expansive fitness center and a climbing wall.

The estimated $16 million cost of the new YMCA includes approximately $12 million in so-called "hard costs" to pay for construction of the facility and $4 million in "soft costs," which include design work, engineering, fees, contingency costs and a $1 million operating reserve.

Beahen said the YMCA affiliation with the Ketchum facility will provide the project with an array of support networks and resources that it would not have otherwise. The affiliation typically requires YMCAs to pay 1 percent of their earned revenues to the national organization, based in Chicago.

"There’s a lot of history and a huge network we can draw from."

Beahen said she plans to ensure the YMCA would be a "self-sustaining" operation that offers scholarships to children who cannot afford to participate in programs.

"Everyone belongs at a YMCA," she said. "It’s there for kids. It’s there for you and I. It’s there for families. It’s there for seniors."

In addition to the $16 million the YMCA needs to raise in its capital campaign, Beahen anticipates having to undertake an annual "giving campaign" to help sustain operations.


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