Demolition has started on the old Reynoldsburg Swim Club and Bingo Hall, but residents will have to wait awhile to see a planned YMCA Community Center arise in their place.

The new 56,000-square-foot, two-story facility is not expected to be complete until October 2019.

Demolition began last week, however, after the city signed an $80,500 contract with Loewendick & Sons to take down the swim club at 7215 E. Main St., the adjacent bingo hall and other structures on the 10-acre site near the Reynoldsburg Senior Center.

Bill Sampson, the city's public service director, said bids for the demolition ranged from $80,500 to $173,000.

"Loewendick was the low bidder -- they were also the demolition firm on the Truro Township Main Street fire station," he said.

The first phase of the recreation center's schematic design is now complete, after a team of architects from CT Consultants/Moody Nolan worked with a city steering committee for the past four months, Sampson said.

"The architect started with rough-study drawings that illustrate the basic concepts of the design, working closely with the steering committee," he said. "This included spatial relationships as well as basic scale and forms."

He said the project's construction firm, the Gilbane Building Co., is working on initial cost estimates based on total project size and other factors.

"Schematic design produces rough drawings of a site plan, floor plans, elevations and often illustrative sketches or computer renderings," Sampson said.

Site development work is expected to begin this spring or summer.

"Actual construction of the center will begin in the fall," Sampson said.

He said the design includes energy-saving features to reduce heating and cooling demands for the facility.

Factors such as building orientation, shape, envelope system, passive heating and cooling mechanisms, shading and glazing are all considered in the design to reduce energy costs, Sampson said.

The facility is expected to cost about $25 million to build.

The city will retain ownership of the building and property, while the YMCA of Columbus will operate the facility, charging membership fees to help pay for staff members and maintenance, Sampson said.

Brian Kridler, vice president of strategy and innovation at YMCA of Columbus, said employment at the new recreation center will "vary seasonally" but likely would total about 75-150, with most being part-time positions.

He said the YMCA would move some current employees to the new location and hire others.

"We'll have a mixture of experienced and new Y leaders on our Reynoldsburg team," he said.

The facility is expected to include an indoor and outdoor pool -- as requested by residents in several public meetings last year -- along with administrative offices, community meeting rooms, a gymnasium and fitness rooms, among other amenities.

"We currently have 13 YMCA membership centers in central Ohio," Kridler said. "Among our 13, there are five with indoor and outdoor pools and two others with an indoor pool and an off-site outdoor pool that we manage."

He said all current facilities have indoor pools.

The facilities in Gahanna, Liberty Township/Powell, Hilliard, Grove City and the Jerry L. Garver YMCA branches all have both indoor and outdoor pools.

Kridler said the design team has worked on incorporating ideas from the public meetings.

"Our team has been focused on delivering on the promises made during the campaign and the creativity with which everyone was thinking about the venues in this particular building," he said. "It is going to be a great asset for the greater Reynoldsburg community."

Reynoldsburg voters approved an income tax increase last May to pay for the facility. The levy is expected to generate about $5.4 million per year.


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