MANDAN, N.D. _ After a three-year wait, the Mandan Park Board on Monday sewed up an agreement to create a $10.5 million YMCA in southeast Mandan, approving a memorandum of understanding between the two entities and a land buy to place the new recreational center there. Design and fundraising work is still needed for the building itself, YMCA officials said.
The park board approved buying 5.25 acres land from Gas U UP LLC. for $1.7 million, for property next to the Raging Rivers water park. Mandan Parks and Recreation Director Cole Higlin said the purchase should be closed July 19. The sellers cannot create a competing health care or health fitness business on 2 acres they are keeping next to the future YMCA, he said.
Most of land purchase funds will come from a joint powers agreement that the park board also approved Monday with the city of Mandan.
The Mandan City Commission on July 2 agreed to pay $1.5 million from its Visitor Fund for the land. Of that, $750,000 will be paid up front from the city lodging and restaurant taxes. The other $750,000 will be paid in five years of installments from the same fund.
The park board chose Starion Financial to finance $950,000 of the land purchase over five years until the city Visitor Fund and the park district pay off the rest of the land cost. The park district also is using the loan to finance the remaining $200,000 it owes to buy the land.
The agreement between the park board and YMCA specifies that:
- The park district will buy the 5.25 acres for $1.7 million.
- The park district will lease the land to the YMCA for $1 per year. The YMCA has the option to buy the leased land.
- The YMCA will pay insurance and special assessments for the land.
- The YMCA intends to build a 41,000 square-foot YMCA facility with a full-sized gym, suspended running track, a wellness/fitness center, three fitness studios, two child care classrooms, a child watch program, cycle studio, offices and meeting rooms, and two locker rooms.
- Construction of the new YMCA will begin when fundraising goals are met.
- Construction costs are the YMCA’s responsibility.
In its agreement with the city, the park district agreed to pay 88 percent of a net sale back to the city if the land were sold and keep the rest.
“This fills a void for the rec center that we wanted to fill,” Higlin said after the meeting. “The community center we left five years ago wasn’t really a rec center. The (building) the community is partnering with the Y is a full-fledged rec center.”
The YMCA Board of Directors and Board of Trustees approved the park board agreement before Monday, Higlin said.
“We are very, very excited about this opportunity. The end goal is to bring a YMCA to the city of Mandan,” said Bill Bauman, executive director for the YMCA in Bismarck.
He said financing would start the first of the year, but design and finance strategy could be done until then.
“We need both communities to be behind this project in order to raise the money we need to build this,” he said.
The park district’s donation to the project was the land buy and funding of the facility will come from private donations from individuals and businesses, Bauman explained.
Surveys two years ago showed more than 2,000 people from Mandan and Bismarck would join a new YMCA in southeast Mandan location, Bauman said. YMCA members will be able to use either facility when the new site is completed, he said.
“We’re very busy at the current site. We want to grow with the growing community and we know there are a lot of folks in south Bismarck and Mandan who deserve to have a Y that aren’t currently using a Y. We think the partnership opportunity is great,” he said.