Huntington University pledges $250,000 to YMCA

Huntington, Ind.—Huntington University has pledged $250,000 to the Huntington YMCA for its use in constructing swimming pool facilities in its new building.

“We are very excited to have Huntington University partner with the YMCA as we build our new facility,” said Dan Akeley, executive director of the YMCA. “The participation from the university will enable the YMCA to expand the competitive pool from six lanes to eight lanes as well as increase the size of the warm-water recreational and therapy pool. The larger pools will be able to handle all the additional programming needs that the university currently conducts in their existing pool as well as the YMCA’s needs.”

Akeley said that the new warm-water facility would be called the “Forester Pool” in recognition of the university’s support.

Construction of the new YMCA, to be located adjacent to the university’s campus on the Parkview Huntington Hospital grounds, will begin in the spring of 2007 with completion anticipated in 2008. Once the new YMCA is open, the university will close its pool in the Merillat Complex for Physical Education and Recreation.

“We believe it is prudent to partner with the YMCA to meet the aquatics needs of the university,” said Dr. G. Blair Dowden, president of Huntington University. “This cooperative agreement not only will benefit the university and the YMCA but also the entire Huntington County community.”

On an annual basis, Huntington University spends approximately $60,000 to operate its own pool, said Tom Ayers, vice president for business and finance. This includes supplies, chemicals, utilities, routine labor for operations and labor costs of lifeguards but excludes unplanned repairs to pool equipment.

Additionally, the university has identified approximately $217,000 of near-term repairs needed for the pool and related equipment. These include cleaning and repainting support beams, replacing and/or repairing the pool deck, replacing the filter system, upgrading the temperature controls, and replacing the pool area air handler unit.

“Ignoring for a moment rising utility rates, likely increases in wage rates for lifeguards, and the general impact of inflation on other costs, the university would spend more than $800,000 on the pool over the next 10 years,” Ayers said.

In recognition of the university’s support for the construction of swimming pool facilities, the YMCA will provide free access to its swimming pool facilities for recreational use by students and employees of the university, for aquatics classes offered as part of the regular curriculum of the university, and for recreational use by participants in summer conferences held at the university for 10 years following the opening of the pool facilities.

In addition, Huntington University will extend a discount off its regular member rates to members of the Huntington YMCA for recreational use of facilities at the MCPER, and the YMCA will extend a discount off its regular member rates to those holding MCPER memberships for recreational use of YMCA facilities. The discounts will be determined annually.

Akeley said that the university’s partnership puts the YMCA at $6 million in gifts and pledges toward an overall capital campaign goal of $8 million.

“It is very rewarding to see many of the leading community organizations and businesses coming together to build a facility that will benefit the entire community,” Akeley added.

Huntington University is a comprehensive Christian college of the liberal arts offering graduate and undergraduate programs in more than 70 academic concentrations. U.S.News & World Report ranks Huntington among the best colleges in the Midwest. Founded in 1897 by the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, Huntington University is located on a contemporary, lakeside campus in northeast Indiana. The University is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU).



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