Ponca City Aquatic and Family Center — YMCA



Ponca City Aquatic and Family Center — YMCA


South-West View of the Ponca City Aquatic and Family Center — YMCA


YMCA Groundbreaking Held

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, Nicholson said.

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 center.

“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.