YAKIMA, Wash. -- To celebrate its upcoming 100th anniversary, the Yakima Rotary Club on Thursday announced it had raised $3.3 million in donations for the planned YMCA Aquatics Center — now to be called the Yakima Rotary Aquatics Center — at Chesterley Park.
The aquatics center is expected to open in the fall of 2019, coinciding with the centennial of the club, which was founded in 1919. The club chose the center as its Centennial Project, citing the positive effect it’s expected to have on the community. Officials with the organization say the donation is the largest commitment the city’s three Rotary clubs have ever made to the community.
“The credibility of Rotary and its financial commitment helped the YMCA secure additional community support and funding. We will always be grateful for the tremendous support Rotary provided to help make this project possible,” said Yakima YMCA Executive Director Bob Romero.
Not everyone is as supportive of the program. Detractors say it isn’t fair to be building a pool in northwest Yakima when the east side of town hasn’t had any pool since 2005. But it hasn’t stopped fundraising. To date, the YMCA has received about 85 percent of the estimated $20 million needed to build the aquatics center. That includes $3.5 million that was included in the state’s recently passed capital budget.
To remedy a lack of recreational services, Yakima city officials have negotiated two large p…
Fundraising efforts are still in progress for the aquatics center and can be made to the local YMCA.
Romero anticipates breaking ground on the facility early this summer and opening it for business in fall 2019.
Among other amenities, the center will have a leisure and lap pool, water slide and a lazy river feature. It will be connected to a YMCA branch.
The aquatics center project is being built in partnership with the city. The city will contribute $4.5 million for construction and at least $300,000 each year to help operate the pools — Yakima’s first new pool since the 1970s. It’s not clear exactly how much it will cost to operate the facility, nor has the city determined how it will pay its share of the operating expenses.
The city will not be providing operating costs for the adjacent YMCA branch, which will include a fitness center, space for youth events and a therapy rehabilitation clinic to be run in partnership with Virginia Mason Memorial hospital.