Clarion County YMCA Unveils Plans for New $8.1 Million Facility

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CLARION, Pa. – Plans for a new $8.1 million full-service Clarion County YMCA to be located near Exit 62 of I-80 and the Clarion Oaks Golf Course were unveiled Tuesday afternoon by Al Lander and Milissa Bauer, capital campaign co-chairs.

(Photo: Al Lander, Milissa Bauer, and Jesse Kelley unveil plans for for the new $8.1 million YMCA facility.)

The campaign’s silent phase has already raised $5.4 million (almost 70 percent) from lead gifts and commitments by a small group of key individuals, including more than $600,000 in pledges from the local YMCA Board. A community campaign for the remaining $2.7 million is now being launched.

“A small group of respected community leaders have joined with the Clarion County YMCA board to construct a new indoor regional recreation facility and sports field that supports wholesome healthy activities for our youth, for our families, and for our older adults,” said Lander and Bauer.

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(Photo: Front of the proposed YMCA facility)

The project will triple the size of the current rented YMCA facility and include:

  • a swimming pool
  • a full size gymnasium
  • an indoor track
  • a wellness center
  • a weight room
  • two multiple purpose rooms
  • an outdoor sports field
  • locker facilities for men and women, including a separate family changing room.

(Photos: Floor plans for the upper and lower levels of the facility.)

“Clarion County is one of the poorest counties in Pennsylvania, and our community’s overall health is declining,” said YMCA Director Jesse Kelley. “With the new facility, we hope to attract and attain businesses, employees, and healthy families.”

The new YMCA will be centrally located for Clarion County and accessible off exit 62 of I-80, overlooking the Clarion Oaks Golf Course on a seven-acre tract of land donated by three local landowners.

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According to Lander and Bauer, a significant amount of thought was put into the location of the new facility. Twelve other possible locations were examined and a matrix study was performed before the location near the Clarion Oaks Golf Course was chosen.

“We found that this location was the most optimum for the county being that it is off of I-80 and in the center of the county,” said Lander.

Campaign organizers are hoping to start work on the new facility this fall.

“There has never been a time in the last 20 years when so many positive forces have come together to make a new YMCA possible,” said Lander and Bauer. “The challenge to the community is to give the final $2.7 million.”

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(Photo: Back of the facility looking out over the Clarion Oaks Golf Course.)

A Growing YMCA

Last year members and participants made over 82,000 visits to the Clarion County YMCA, and the demand has stretched the current building to its limits and beyond, says Kelley. 

Research by the YMCA for the project – including a feasibility study that interviewed 50 key community members – shows a countywide interest and need for a full-service YMCA, according to organizers.

Memberships are projected to increase by 50 percent after the new 32,000 sq. ft. facility is opened.

Kelley hopes to utilize the increased space to provide community members with options for special classes including spinning and rowing.

“We strongly believe this project will improve the quality of life for area residents through its positive impacts on community health and well-being by providing access to year-round recreational facilities expected by today’s citizens,” said Lander and Bauer.

For more information about the campaign, contact Campaign Communications Coordinator Cindy Nave at 814-226-9722.


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