The YMCA is still under construction but you can get a look and see how it is coming a long! (Henrietta Wildsmith/The Times)
The YMCA of Northwest Louisiana will soon open the doors of its new facility along Clyde Fant Parkway.
The BHP Billiton YMCA, a project almost 10 years in the making, will open March 25 at 9 a.m., according to an email sent to YMCA members and obtained by The Times.
“The time has come, and we can’t wait to share this amazing new facility with you,” YMCA of Northwest Louisiana CEO Gary Lash said.
The YMCA will close its facility on Carroll Street in the Broadmoor neighborhood on March 21. The organization also operates a building downtown that will stay open, Lash said.
“We thank you for the many memories at our Carroll Street location and look forward to the future together at the BHP Billiton YMCA,” Lash said. “Please come see us at the Downtown Y during these few days that we will be without this second location.”
The $17.5-million fitness center project will feature a state-of-the-art Olympic swimming pool, basketball courts, exercise and weight rooms. The entire complex, sitting on roughly 150 acres of land along Clyde Fant Parkway, will include renovated baseball fields and a nature station with trails and a lake.
“This has been incredible,” said YMCA of Northwest Louisiana CEO Gary Lash. “I’ve been blessed to be a part of this project. It’s something beyond my wildest dreams.”
The project started in 2007 when, Lash said, he and others began to consider renovating the YMCA’s facility in Broadmoor, but instead started looking into building a new one. BHP Billiton, whose name will be affixed to the building, donated roughly $10.7 million — $8 million in cash and $2.7 million in land — to the YMCA.