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Chambersburg YMCA expansion plans move forward

November 23, 2001

Chambersburg YMCA expansion plans move forward



By STACEY DANZUSO
chbbureau@innernet.net


CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Plans announced last year to expand Chambersburg's YMCA will move ahead with some adjustments, Executive Director David Matthews said.

The YMCA's board of directors announced at its meeting Monday that it plans to move forward with the project, Matthews said.

While specific details won't be ready until later this winter, Matthews said the project may incorporate a teen center, a youth or preschool area, an expanded fitness center and the construction of a multipurpose room. Initial plans to modernize an indoor pool are no longer included.

The entire project will cost about $1.5 million, which the YMCA is getting ready to try and raise publicly, he said.

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Parking has long been a concern at the land-locked YMCA at the corner of McKinley and Sixth streets, but Matthews said the YMCA has reached agreements with the Chambersburg Area School District and the National Guard Reserve Center to use their adjacent parking facilities.

Last year, Matthews approached the Chambersburg Borough Council with the expansion plans and a request for the borough to vacate a block of Middle Street from McKinley to Garfield streets that is parallel to the YMCA so it can be used for additional parking.

Closing Middle Street would make up the spaces lost to construction and allow for a more organized parking lot, he said.

That proposal never moved forward because the school district, which owns property on the other side of Middle Street, did not support any changes to the road before it determines what to do with its property, Matthews said.

"Middle Street will remain as it is until the school district figures out what it wants in the long term," he said.

Another suggestion to remove a sidewalk on the same portion of Middle Street and change it to one-way traffic to accommodate diagonal parking was discarded for the same reason, Matthews said.

Expansion is projected to take away about 30 parking spaces, which are already at a premium at the busy fitness center at 570 E. McKinley St.

The agreement to share parking with the school and reserve center should solve the problem, he said.

The YMCA has been at the McKinley Street location for 45 years and wants to expand to remain competitive. Due to deed restrictions, the YMCA cannot move to a new site, Matthews said.

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