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YMCA partners with VA for Pike Township center

August 26, 2015

The planned, $10 million Pike Township YMCA still has no timetable for breaking ground. But whenever it's completed, the facility will partner with the Indianapolis-based Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center to provide services to veterans, officials announced Tuesday.

The joint venture was announced Tuesday. Under the agreement, veterans would have full access to the gym, pool and special therapy for veterans with disabilities, rooms for individual and family counseling, and computer lab access for job searching. The facility also would offer VA outpatient services like physical therapy, aquatic therapy and recreational therapy, as well as complimentary classes like Tai Chi, yoga and creative art and relationship workshops for veterans and their significant others.

Eric Ellsworth, president and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis, said the groups believe the partnership is the first of its kind in the country. When completed, the 45,000-square-foot building will have 5,000 square feet dedicated for veterans.

YMCA has been trying to raise funds for the project since 2007, and $3 million has been donated so far.

“Sometimes when we wait, good things happen,” Ellsworth said, adding that the campaign has significant momentum.

The new facility is expected to be built on 12 acres near Snacks Crossing Elementary School at 56th Street and Lafayette Road. The Metropolitan School District of Pike Township donated the land to the YMCA in 2007.

The current, 16,000-square-foot Pike Township YMCA is on the corner of 71st Street and Zionsville Road. It does not have a gym or a pool.

“It’s not meeting the needs. It’s not meeting the demand,” Ellsworth said, mentioning it has 3,900 members now. The new YMCA could serve as many as 12,000 residents.

Ellsworth had hoped to complete fundraising in 2010, and YMCA officials told the IBJ in 2011 that the deadline to break ground on the new facility had been delayed until June 2014.

YMCA spokeswoman Tangela Floyd said Tuesday there was no timeline for raising the remaining $7 million, but the YMCA would like to move forward as soon as possible.

“We know we need a YMCA in Pike Township,” Ellsworth said. “We’re gonna get it done.”

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