On Tuesday, November 27, San Diego City Council member Todd Gloria issued a press release championing the building of a new Copley-Price Family YMCA recreation center in the mid-city area. The building, which will be 53,400 square feet, is going to be built on the vacant Pearson Ford lot bordered by 43rd Street, El Cajon Boulevard, Meade Avenue, and Fairmont Avenue.
This item was brought before council at their November 27 meeting, where it was unanimously approved. Though there is no set date of construction, council member Gloria's office says that it will start in the spring of 2013.
Timothy Barry, Copley Family YMCA Capital Development Committee Chair, was present at the council meeting, and spoke of the facility's predicted participation and project background.
"The Copley-Price YMCA in Kensington will serve about 8,000 citizens per year," said Barry. "Price Charities brought up this project back in 2010, and the property was donated to the city. In the Spring of 2011, we approached the marketing strategy, held seventeen community meetings, and surveyed the residents of the area. This recreation facility will entail aquatic programs, children's activities, a separate community center, as well as a 296-space parking structure."
In response to the surveys, Barry continued that mid-city residents overwhelmingly supported the new YMCA facilities. Aside from citizens concerned about utility boxes bordering the lot, this project was met with little opposition.
According to Barry, they estimate that the center will generate 3,500 memberships. Other amenities will include a fitness room, a 7,300 square foot enclosed pool to promote competitive swimming, a kitchen facility to encourage nutritional education, and several classrooms for children's programs and summer camps.
Council member Gloria grew up in the area, and felt that this would interconnect the residents of Talmadge, City Heights, and Kensington - enhancing the sense of community in the area.
"This area is typically classified as 'low income,'" said Gloria. "I would not approve of this project if it was simply pushed through council, and would not be beneficial to the community. When it comes down to it, this will be a 'world class' facility that should prove to serve the area for decades to come."
The building of the Copley-Price YMCA facility in Kensington should indefinitely prove to be beneficial to the city. Not only were citizens predominantly in favor of the proposal, but also encouraged a facet of the development process. Mid-city residents pushed for the plans to include a separate community center to provide a place, outside of their homes or work, for neighbors to get together. Their suggestion, in actuality, became a major part of the now council-approved proposal.