Three local entities in that city — the YMCA, Edmond Public Schools and its municipal government — have joined forces to nourish a rapidly growing community. After 15 years of discussion, The Mitch Park YMCA Recreation and Aquatics Center plans to open its doors by December of this year. The $24.8 million project is a union of public and private funds, the first initiative of its kind in Edmond.

“Our partnership is a perfect match,” said Steve Commons, Edmond assistant city manager. “Each partner had similar goals and very similar needs. The YMCA needed expanded facilities, the Edmond Public School system needed a competition-sized pool and the city of Edmond wanted more recreational opportunities as we continue to grow.”

The project will benefit families in Edmond and throughout the metro as patrons connect to work out, watch competitive sports and support local activities. The YMCA will facilitate operations of the building, but each partner has contributed millions of dollars.

“The project is 50 percent complete,” said Craig Dishman, Edmond director of parks and recreation.

The center boasts an eight-lane, 50-meter competition-sized swimming pool that seats 800 patrons and is set to host the 2014 state high school swimming competition.

In addition, the facility includes a workout area with an indoor track, a cardio room, basketball courts, a leisure pool with lap lanes and a 20.5-foot twisting slide that runs both inside and outside the building.

The center will further serve community needs with programs and meetings for all ages. Membership costs have yet to be ironed out but will be released by year’s end.

“Mitch Park is going to be the new hub for Edmond,” said Dishman. “The building project complements other things happening along Covell Road. The city is widening the roads, and many businesses are growing in that direction.”

Not only will the facility be the newest hub; it will be savvy in saving fuel costs as well.

“We are building the grounds for geothermal energy,” said Commons. “This means the wells will support the heating and ventilation, saving a lot of money on electric costs.”

Dishman said the facility will be a great plus for Edmond.

“I will absolutely become a member and [am] looking forward to a new, family-friendly place to work out,” he said. “It will be one of the jewels of Edmond.”

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