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Morgan Family YMCA on Pearl Street to be rebuilt with new amenities, parking

After more than 40 years standing, it’s time.

Plans are in place to demolish the Morgan Family YMCA to make way for a brand new facility next door.

The new facility — temporarily dubbed “The new YMCA on Pearl Street” — will make room for more members and includes a modern aquatics center, new equipment, arts and youth spaces, gymnastics gym, additional parking and various multipurpose rooms.

“The current building is deteriorating. The cost to maintain and repair the existing facility is a substantial portion of its operating budget and is unsustainable,” according to the YMCA website.

The new facility will be built with more windows to bring in natural light and views of Mount Rainier and have a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.

“The new YMCA on Pearl Street will honor the past, reflecting the warm and openhearted spirit we’ve nurtured since 1977, and look toward the future to better serve our members and the larger community alike,” according to the YMCA website.

The facility will be built in a field just west of the existing building at 1002 S Pearl St. Activities on the current field will held elsewhere during construction, said Michelle LaRue, YMCA director of strategic engagement.

The existing YMCA will be open for use during construction. It will be demolished once the new building is completed. A playfield will be built in its place.

Anticipated construction start date is June 1, 2020, according to a permit application from the city of Tacoma.

At 94,300 square feet, the new two-story facility will be just shy of the current YMCA’s 102,000 square feet. A subsequent phase would expand the new facility by another 19,000 square feet for a total of 113,000 square feet.

The facility could have a new name in the future. Naming rights are part of the donation process.

Replacing the Morgan Family YMCA will not only update an aging facility but allow for YMCA to serve more members in the Tacoma area, said Loren Johnson, property development and facilities director for the YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties.

“We have found as we build new facilities that we can create a much more efficient use of space,” Johnson said.

Most recently, YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties opened the Gordon Family YMCA in Sumner in 2015. The YMCA raised about $17 million for the project.

Currently, the Morgan Family YMCA serves about 16,000 members and has 800,000 visits per year. Memberships for adults cost $61 per month.

The new facility is projected to serve 21,000 members per year. Memberships won’t increase to fund construction, officials said.

The number of members receiving discounted memberships could expand with the new project. Currently, 22 percent of members receive financial assistance based on income and size of home.

The Morgan Family YMCA was named after John O. Morgan, who retired as CEO of the Tacoma YMCA in 1989 after a 41-year career. He passed away in 2014.

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