New YMCA/YWCA Near Completion

SPOKANE — The wait is almost over for the opening of the new YMCA/YWCA building in Downtown Spokane.

“This building is old and worn out,” said YMCA patron Dan McBride about the Y’s aging structure in the heart of the city. “It’s been in need of repairs ever since I was a little kid coming here.”

McBride and others who use the Downtown YMCA are itching to have the doors open at the new location under construction just a few blocks away.

“The new-ness of it, the fact that it’s bright and airy, it’s going to be very welcoming,” said Rig Riggins with YMCA Spokane.

Inside the new YMCA is a spacious lobby, a spanking new gymnasium, three pools, and a spa area.

“We still have some plastering to do on the pool but by then we’re going to fill it up and be ready to go,” said Riggins.

These are just a handful of the features the public will get to see when doors open to the new YMCA in May.

The bill for the new facility comes at $32 million for the joint YMCA/YWCA Downtown building, the first partnership of its kind in the country.

“This is the first time in the nation that this has ever been done where a YMCA and a YWCA have gone together on a capital campaign to produce a result like this,” said Riggins. “We think the community is really going to benefit from this.”

Another $14 million YMCA is being built in north Spokane, just off Highway 2. That location will be home to three pools, a teen center, and outdoor recreation area.

In just four months crews hope to complete the 54,000 square-foot North side YMCA.

Completing construction on these facilities is a priority even though fundraising is still underway to pay off the projects.

“Right now we’re just at 80% of the goal we need, so we’re going to continue to raise money,” said Riggins. “But the services, they really are so important and even in tough times we feel the services are even more relevant to families.”

About 50,000 people benefit from the YMCA and YWCA in Spokane County. Once the new buildings open, that number is expected to jump to 70,000.