YMCA Purchases Land in South Spokane
The YMCA of the Inland Northwest has purchased a 15-acre parcel along S. Glenrose Road from long-time landowners, the Bauer family. This completes a multi-year search for property for a new south Spokane YMCA. The property is adjacent to an additional 15-acre parcel bordering the Ben Burr Trail that is intended to be held as a land conservation easement, affording public walking trails and retaining the natural landscape.
The YMCA has engaged with community members over the years who have long sought a traditional YMCA in south Spokane. The acquisition of this property secures the ability to plan a future YMCA to meet the needs of individuals and families while continuing to expand mission programs. In 2016, the YMCA was able to better serve south Spokane with the acquisition of the former Gold’s Gym located at 57th and Regal, however, the location lacked many traditional YMCA features such as a pool and gymnasium which frequently were noted as a priority for the south Spokane community.
According to Alan Lesher, YMCA of the Inland Northwest President & CEO “We are grateful to the Bauer family for the opportunity to purchase this property, and plan to honor the land’s rich history while minimizing the environmental impact to the area. The purchase is the next step in fulfilling the community’s goal of one day having a full-facility YMCA in south Spokane complete with community gathering areas, walking trails, youth and teen programming space, early learning child care, pools and water features, gymnasium, and health and wellness center. We are excited to begin working with local neighborhood groups and the Bauers to design the facility, and expect to pay for the project with funds secured during a multi-year community capital campaign.” John Bauer, shared, “My family and I are pleased to partner with the Y on the sale of our property. We share the same values and we felt it was important to leave a lasting legacy to benefit the community for years to come.”
The YMCA of the Inland Northwest has a long history of meeting the needs of the local community through expansion of programs, services and locations. Opening it’s doors in 1884 to provide a safe and wholesome refuge for young men leaving the rural surroundings for the industrial city of Spokane, the YMCA recognized the need for recreation along with education. The Jenkins Institute was started as a precursor to the community college affording both boarding and an education for those away from home for the first time and looking to join the workforce. As times changed, so did the YMCA, creating the USO for military service members, developing many modern-day sports such as basketball, volleyball and racquetball, and offering a meeting place during the civil rights movement and later shifting focus to welcoming families to name just a few. However, what will never change is the YMCA’s commitment to strengthening the fabric and foundations of the communities which it serves.