One of the big debates in the year-long design process for the new Kokomo Family YMCA concerned the racquetball courts.
The national YMCA organization has a list of guidelines for new facilities, and one of them, according to Kokomo Y director Dave Dubois, is that racquetball is a dying sport.
But in Kokomo, the Y has a core of about 40 to 50 racquetball enthusiasts, and they are loyal, longtime members. There was no way the new Y wasn’t going to have a court.
“We were told, ‘Don’t build racquetball courts,’” Dubois said.
But the Y staff has more than 200 years of collective experience, and they know the members and they know what works in Kokomo, Dubois said. That’s why the new building will have a central racquetball court with a glass wall.
The new Y, a 73,000-square-foot facility, with a health and wellness center, a lap pool, instructional warm water pool, multi-purpose rooms, a teen center, a chapel, two gyms and a running track, is expected to cost about $15 million.
Those are the basics, but in December, Y officials will begin the final push to raise the remaining funds needed for the building.
They’ve hired a construction management firm to take designs from Fort Wayne-based architects Moake Park and figure out how much everything will cost.
That process will distill details from the broad architect designs, from floor coverings to light fixtures. Around February, the management firm, Wiegand Construction, Fort Wayne, is expected to come back to the Y board with cost estimates.
A further round of value engineering will then take place, “to bring the project close to what we hope to have at the end of the day,” Dubois said. “Of course, the caveat is that we still have to raise the money.”