It’s been a dream several years in the making, but bringing a full-service YMCA to fast-growing Ridgefield is now a reality.
The Ridgefield City Council approved an award for site design and planning for the proposed YMCA at its June 24 meeting. According to council documents, the cost of facility design by Johansson Wing Architects is $273,200, including $250,000 awarded from state funds. The documents also added a budget amendment will be needed later in 2021 for the remainder of the cost.
Mayor Don Stose said the project is a partnership between the city, the YMCA of Columbia-Willamette and a private developer, Dirgesh Patel of Blue Rock Ventures, who will finance and build the facility. The city will put forth the land and funding for the facility’s engineering, Stose said.
The project will be located on city-owned land north of Pioneer Street at 51st Avenue with construction expected to begin in early 2022, Stose said. He added the YMCA’s grand opening could come later in the year or early 2023.
Stose said the public/private partnership is an asset in bringing new services to the fast-growing city.
“With growth brings services,” Stose said, “and the YMCA is a big part of that.”
Currently, the county’s only other full-service YMCA is at 1124 N.E. 51st Circle, Vancouver. The idea of bringing more YMCAs to other parts of Clark County continues to gain momentum as of late. In March, the Battle Ground City Council heard the latest update from backers who support a full-service YMCA coming to northeast Clark County. A YMCA also is planned for Woodland, which in 2018, included a demolition of a motel for a future facility near Horseshoe Lake, according to Columbian archives.
City officials in Ridgefield first worked with the YMCA in 2016 on a needs analysis and market study to residents. Stose noted that grant money on the project from Washington’s 18th Legislative District also will provide assistance on membership fees.
“It’s going to be a really nice place for the community to gather and exercise, swim and everything that the YMCA brings, we’ll be able to provide for our citizens,” he said.