PIQUA – The Miami County YMCA plans to break ground on a new Piqua Branch across the street from the current Y around the first week of May.
A 76,379-square-foot building will include an expanded basketball gym and early childhood watch space, additional meeting spaces for sports leagues and increased pool and gym access. The existing facility was built at 230 W. High St. downtown in 1963 with an addition in 1977.
The new facility will be more accessible to seniors and those with mobility issues and will allow the branch to offer more resources for health care and wellness, said Jim McMaken, Miami County YMCA executive director, and Steve Staley, capital campaign chairman.
The campaign to raise the estimated $20.5 million needed to cover hard and soft costs for the new YMCA Piqua Branch is about 90 percent complete, Staley said. The cost estimate was increased recently due to the significant increases being seen in cost of materials, McMaken said.
The latest financing word came March 16 with an announcement by Citywide Development Corp. of $9 million in New Market Tax Credits toward the project through the Dayton Region New Market Fund.
Citywide Development Corp. was “excited” to invest in the project, said organization President Brian Heitkamp. “This new facility will provide important services to the community for generations to come,” he said.
Support for the project has been robust from the start, Staley said. “We had a large number of people making contacts and reaching out,” he said.
The funding mix so far also has included businesses, foundations, corporations and individuals. The Miami County YMCA has also injected some of its capital and resources into the project, McMaken said.
“We are going to raise the money that will be pledged so that we don’t fall short of what we need to have all of our costs covered,” Staley added. “We have work to do and a gap to fill, but this project is going to happen.”
A feasibility study was initiated in spring and summer 2018 with strong support for keeping a YMCA downtown where a YMCA has been since the 1890s.
“We bring 400 to 500 people downtown every day. The idea of the Y not being downtown is just hard to imagine,” McMaken said. The project will increase employment from 33 full-time equivalents to around 38.
The Miami County YMCA also has the Robinson Branch located south of Troy. Support for construction at both facilities was generated countywide, Staley said.
The goal is to open the new Piqua Branch in early 2024, McMaken said. H.A. Dorsten of Minster will be the contractor.
When the new building is open, the existing facility will be demolished, and a parking lot installed.
The project comes at a time of increased activity in downtown Piqua, where the former Fort Piqua Hotel was renovated more than a decade ago and now is home to the public library. Other development projects are in the works including the city Lock 9 project along the Great Miami and plans for new housing and a brewery.
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