North Kansas City and the YMCA of Greater Kansas City are working on an agreement for the Y to run the city’s community center.
If the agreement is approved by the city’s leaders and the YMCA’s board of directors, the center will become the region’s largest YMCA.
“We are excited about the opportunity to explore this and better serve the community,” said Paula Oxler, a spokeswoman for the YMCA of Greater Kansas City. “At this point, the conversations are continuing.”
North Kansas City Hospital has expressed support and interest in becoming a medical wellness partner at the center, offering such things as health screenings, risk assessments and programs to address obesity, diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease.
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The YMCA and North Kansas City began talks about three years ago.
“The center was opened in 2000, and it was opened with a reserve fund,” said Sara Copeland, public information officer for North Kansas City.
“We anticipated that it would not be a moneymaking operation because that was not the goal of opening it,” she said. “The goal was for it to be a great resource for the community.”
The reserve fund, however, is close to being depleted, Copeland said. The city is looking to draw upon the YMCA’s expertise to make sure the center continues to operate in the best way to serve the community.
North Kansas City would remain the owner of the 96,000-square-foot community center at 1999 Iron St. It includes a swimming pool, indoor water park, basketball courts and fitness, meeting and event space.
The community center has more than 2,500 active members.
That center has 90 full- and part-time employees — 120 employees during the summer. The city hopes that most will be retained if the YMCA takes over.
The proposal is expected to go before North Kansas City’s City Council and the YMCA board at the end of November.