South-West View of the Ponca City Aquatic and
Family Center — YMCA
SITE PLAN |
MAIN LEVEL |
By BEVERLY BRYANT
News Staff Writer
Falling temperatures and rising winds failed to chill the spirits of
Ponca City residents who gathered for the groundbreaking for the
Ponca City Aquatic and Family Center — YMCA Monday, January 12, 2009.
Mayor Homer Nicholson said 250 people attended the dedication and
groundbreaking ceremony at Grand Avenue and Waverly.
“We are extremely excited to have new construction going on in Ponca
City,” Nicholson said. “This $23 million to $25 million project is
one of the largest capital projects in the history of Ponca City.
The mayor said the project was possible due to citizens passing the
half-cent dedicated sales tax and the tax extension.
He said the move to build the center is “more significant than we
can realize today.”
The building will be the new gateway to Ponca City for visitors
entering from Interstate 35 and U.S. Highway 60 to the west,
The grand opening for the center is projected for fall 2010.
“Mark that down,” Nicholson said.
Brad Biddle, Vice President of Schaefer Johnson Cox Frey
Architecture, said the engineering decision to close the pool at the
current YMCA was made in 2003. Since then, there was one failed
election and one successful election to support a new facility, and
a successful election to extend the sales tax to increase funding
for the center.
He said the project committee met Monday to continue planning to
carry the project to completion.
Biddle congratulated the citizens of Ponca City for not compromising
the vision for the center and said the groundbreaking was the
realization of the community’s vision.
Former Ponca City resident Sean Morris, an architect with SJCF, was
recognized as the person responsible for getting all the paperwork
together for the project.
YMCA Board Chairman Don Bohon recognized board members, those who
made pledges to the capital campaign, foundations and the City of
Ponca City for moving the project forward. He especially recognized
the work of Ron Stevens, Carey Head, Fred Boettcher and Charles
Casey, as well as Ponca City citizens.
“Because of you, we did not compromise,” Bohon said.
Nicholson said every person in Ponca City will benefit from the new
“It is very unusual to have a facility that caters to everyone’s
needs,” the mayor said.
Nicholson also thanked Ponca City’s Board of Commissioners, Lambert
Construction and former Mayor Dick Stone.