St. Mary's Commissioners Briefed on Great Mills YMCA Project

Artist's conceptual drawing of the new community center in Lexington Park. Artist's conceptual drawing of the new community center in Lexington Park.

HOLLYWOOD, Md. (March 3, 2022)—Just two weeks after the Commissioners of St. Mary's County voted unanimously to continue efforts to build a community center in Lexington Park in cooperation with the YMCA of the Chesapeake, officials with the organization returned to brief elected leaders on next steps.

On Feb. 15 the commissioners voted to site the new YMCA on Great Mills Road, adjacent to an already existing publicly owned and operated swimming pool.

Brian Rigby, design engineer who works with the YMCA of the Chesapeake, told commissioners their current concept plan has the option of a swimming pool already built into YMCA facility, which would have two swimming pools in close proximity.

Robbie Gill, CEO of the YMCA of the Chesapeake, has told commissioners in past briefings that YMCA facilities are almost always built with their own indoor pools.

The first-floor plan of the YMCA building would include activity space for children, bathroom facilities, multipurpose rooms, a kitchen, lobby and common areas as well as the pool area to include locker rooms for men and women.

The first floor would also contain room for a spacious gym.

The basic floor plan was flexible to allow for a pod later post construction.

"We're not changing the scheme because even if we're not including the pool on day [No.] 1, we may want to in the future," Rigby said at the March 1 meeting. "The flow of these buildings is meant to expand over time."

The pool and its support systems would take up about 7,500 square feet of space at the YMCA facility, according to Rigby.

Rigby showed commissioners an artist's rendering of what the facility might look like when finally completed; he called it "highly visible" and "contemporary."

"It is a place for all," Rigby said of the policy of the YMCA that the facility be all-inclusive.

The facility would cost about $17.6 million without a pool, according to consultant estimates, and $20.9 million with a pool.

Commissioners have expressed their desire for community buy-in to the project to include local fundraising support for the project.

Estimates suggest that the community could support as much as $5 million in donations for the project.

The facility would be 51,504 square feet in size with the pool and 43,777 square feet without; the estimated cost of the building would be $265 per square foot.

YMCA officials estimated that if the commissioners chose to move ahead with the project it could be completed between nine to 12 months hence with a total of two years to be fully ready to be occupied.

Commissioner President James "Randy" Guy said the more details the community knew about the project, the more they would come to support it financially.

"We hope there are members of the community who will come out and support this," Guy said.

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