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Editor's note: This is part of an ongoing series of guest columns about the Southlake YMCA and its upcoming $35 million transformation to the Crown Point facility.

The new Southlake YMCA, opening in January 2019, was inspired by the vision of the Dean and Barbara White family of Crown Point. The White family has been instrumental in many community projects here.

In 2014, the time had come to offer new and improved Y programs and facilities to the people of Crown Point, and the White family stepped up to lead the way with a $21 million gift. Since then, preparations have been underway, including a capital campaign and facility design.

“Going from the vision to the finished product is quite a process,” said Tom Hoffman, president of the Y’s volunteer board of directors. “Almost as soon as the idea was brought forth, we started doing our homework to really research and understand the needs in our community and how the Y might best serve them.”

In 2015, more than 30 YMCA board members, donors and community leaders traveled to visit and learn about other successful YMCAs and facilities. These visits generated ideas, questions and excitement about the possibilities in this community.

Next, an organized process began. A construction committee was formed, architects drafted initial plans, costs were estimated and new program ideas were discussed. A feasibility study was conducted, offering assurance that the new Y will succeed in providing services as well as be financially strong for generations to come.

The Y board of directors studied the project, committed to raising another $14 million and voted to proceed.

The capital campaign had a goal of raising $3.5 million, and that goal is within reach. Gifts are still being sought. The remaining costs of the project will be covered by internal financing.

The Southlake YMCA will remain at its current location on land leased to the Y by Franciscan Health Crown Point. The new facility will include extensive renovation of the current 40,000-square-foot facility and will add about 80,000 square feet of new construction. The Y will remain open to members throughout the construction process.

The new Y will offer top-notch wellness activities and programs. Members will enjoy three pools, an indoor track, fitness center, gyms, studios for youth and adult classes and child care areas. Artistic renderings of the project are on display at the Southlake Y.

“This is a complex project that involves a big team,” Hoffman said. “Our team includes Tonn & Blank as our general contractor, and DVG will handle the civil engineering. Our architects are Schaeffer, Johnson, Cox & Frey, a Kansas firm with expertise in YMCA facility design.”

Right now the Y is focused on its Thursday groundbreaking. Community leaders, Y members, volunteers and campaign contributors will be in attendance to celebrate the start of construction.

For more information, visit www.crymca.org/southlakeycampaign.

Dennis Schoenebeck is the project consultant for the new Southlake YMCA. He recently retired as CEO of the Wichita Kansas YMCA. The opinions are the writer's.

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