ymca renovation

ALMOST DONE: Dan Fawcett and Jason Youngman do some cleanup as they work on the main lobby of the YMCA building Tuesday.

The main part of a $205,000 renovation at the Kokomo Family YMCA should finish in about three weeks, the organization’s director said Monday.

Minor work in locker rooms and a few other niches of the century-old building will remain as summer-long projects once the rest of the building reopens in early June, said YMCA Executive Director Dave Dubois.

The building’s front lobby closed off mid-March so crews could gut and redo the entrance, main floor hallway and lower level, among other parts of the building.

Work received approval from the YMCA’s board of directors after studies showed patrons wanted a better-looking building.

Dubois said the renovation’s intention is to solidify the YMCA’s purpose as a “social place” as well as a place to exercise.

Once open, the redone front lobby will include a small cafe stand that will serve drinks.

New furniture and equipment have also gone into the building as part of the building upgrades.

Investment returns are paying for the ongoing renovation. There will not be any increases to membership fees to pay for the work, Dubois said.

The renovation is intended to add another four or five years to the building’s usability before the YMCA looks for a new place, Dubois said.

“If you gave me a $15 million check that wasn’t going to bounce,” he said, “I’m still going to be in the building for another three or four years.”

Looking for a new location has been a discussion that consistently re-emerges every few years, Dubois said. He said he would like to have a decision on a new location by the end of this year.

If the board approves a move, the YMCA would conduct a round of surveys and feasibility studies.

“We’d love to be in downtown, but the condition’s got to be right,” Dubois said.

• Daniel Human is the Kokomo Tribune business reporter. He can be reached at 765-454-8570 or at daniel.human@ kokomotribune.com.

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