Poway/YMCA joint center inching forward

Based on estimates from the YMCA of San Diego, Poway could possibly save more than $15 million in design and construction costs by partnering with them on a jointly owned community/senior center.

Taking the next small step toward that end, Tuesday night the Poway City Council agreed to let the YMCA spend about $40,000 in the next few months to conduct a telephone survey of nearby residents to see exactly what services people would want in the building so that designs could be developed by the city and the YMCA that would satisfy all needs.

Sometime early next year the survey results will be presented to the city which will likely then be asked whether to enter into an agreement that would halt all work on a city-only center. Construction proposals submitted by eight different companies to build a city-only center recently came in much higher than expected — between $20 and $28 million — leading several members of the council to say those plans may have to be scrapped in favor of something cheaper no matter what happens with the YMCA.

The council was told by City Manager Tina White the YMCA estimates that a 36,000-square-foot community center, comparable in size to the one the city has already created preliminary designs for, could be built for about $11 million. 

Eight million dollars has already been set aside by the city for construction costs. The city was tentatively planning to finance the remaining millions that would have been needed through bonds which would have taken many years to pay off.

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