Construction has begun on the new Reynoldsburg YMCA Community Center, and city officials recently closed on a $28 million bond transaction to pay for the facility.

Expected to open in late 2019, the two-story, 70,000- square-foot recreation center is being built on 10 acres at the site of the former Reynoldsburg Swim Club off Davidson Drive.

Plans call for community rooms, a fitness center, gymnasium, studio space and indoor and outdoor swimming pools, to be operated by YMCA of Central Ohio.

Additionally, 13,000 square feet of the building will house OhioHealth primary doctors.

Public-services director Bill Sampson said workers from Gilbane Construction have started grading the site under the direction of project manager Amy Matlock.

"They will be bringing new dirt in to build up the site over the next couple of weeks and putting in utilities over the next couple months, along with water, sanitary sewer and telecommunications equipment," Sampson said.

The city owns the land and will own the building, with the YMCA and OhioHealth as lease partners in the venture. Both would pay the city under terms of 15-year leases, but details and payments have not been determined, Sampson said. He said the YMCA would operate and manage the recreation-center space and charge membership fees to residents.

OhioHealth also would be responsible for all costs to remodel the space for their primary doctor practice.

"Included in the lease agreement would be additional fees to pay for any kind of maintenance, and they would be responsible for the fit-out for their use of the space," Sampson said. "We had been in discussions for over a year about having tenant partners in this venture, and the YMCA already has partnered with OhioHealth in the past.

"Our recreation center provided a good opportunity for the city and both organizations."

City Auditor Stephen Cicak said the city closed on the bond transaction Aug. 1. He said 10 underwriting firms offered bids to purchase the bonds.

"We were extremely happy with the number and quality of firms that submitted bids," he said.

The city accepted the bid of Robert W. Baird & Co., which provided a true interest cost of 3.48 percent over a 30-year period, the lowest true interest rate of the firms who submitted bids, Cicak said.

He said the bond would be repaid semiannually through 2048. An interest-only payment would be made each June, followed by a principal and interest payment each December.

"The annual payment is around $1,565,000," Cicak said. "Issue 11 revenue estimates were $6.5 million annually, so this bond payment is what was budgeted for our new community center."

Mayor Brad McCloud said, "City Council and the administration have worked very hard to create a financially stable, economically vibrant city.

"It's all about taking a common-sense approach to doing what's best for the citizens of Reynoldsburg."

Reynoldsburg voters passed Issue 11 in May 2017 to increase the city's income tax from 1.5 percent to 2.5 percent. It is expected to generate $6.5 million annually to pay for the recreation center, road repairs and other infrastructure needs.

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"The YMCA has already partnered with Ohio Health in the past. Our recreation center provided a good opportunity for the city and both organizations."

-- BILL SAMPSON

Reynoldsburg service director