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YMCA feasibility study underway in Vandalia

Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 4:09 am

YMCA representatives will be interviewing residents of Vandalia on November 13 and 14 to assess the community’s wanting for a facility.
Sherry Medley, executive director of the Mexico YMCA, and Dan Kappel, resource director at YMCA of the USA, will perform a feasibility study, which is the next step in the process of a shared YMCA/library for the City of Vandalia.
Debbie Hopke, assistant city administrator of Vandalia,  said 32 people have been selected to determine whether the community wants the facility. She said the group includes business owners, clergy members, and stay-at-home moms.
“We just want to meet with leaders of the community and gauge the interest in having a YMCA as part of their community,” Medley said. “If we get more “no” answers than “yes” answers, (a YMCA) probably would not be a good idea.”
“We’re excited about it. We would like to see it happen simply because we know what it’s done for our community,” she said. “It is a little tougher in smaller communities.”
Medley said questions for the selected community members cover whether the interviewee would join the club, volunteer, or donate to the YMCA, as well as questions regarding familiarity with YMCA programs and questions of future community growth.
“You’re collecting a lot of data and you’re trying not to put a spin on it to turn out the way you want it to,” she said. “It is Vandalia’s choice and the community will decide the future of it.”
Medley said YMCA members in Vandalia would also be members at the Mexico YMCA and that program offerings in Mexico would likely be shared between both communities.
“We already have the network of stuff that we could easily transfer,” she said. “We want to work parallel with each other.”
“Hopefully (the YMCA) will become the gathering point for the community,” Medley said.
She said the facility would work with families having a difficult time participating in the facility’ programs.
“The ‘Y’ does everything in its power to make sure that kids or families that can’t afford to use the facility are able to participate,” she said. “I’m very optimistic and very excited about it. If it’s meant to be, it will be, and the study will just make us smarter.”