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story.lead_photo.caption Sara McDaniel, CEO of the YMCA of Callaway County, on Friday unveiled the YMCA's plans for renovation and expansion in 2020 and beyond. The changes have been in the works since 2016. Photo by Quinn Wilson / Fulton Sun.

The YMCA of Callaway County unveiled its plans Friday morning for renovation and expansion in 2020 and beyond.

Renovations were proposed in 2016 and initially announced in 2017. After years of trying to get the project off of the ground, the YMCA hopes to to begin moving dirt by Dec. 1. The YMCA's CEO, Sara McDaniel, said the project's delays stemmed from fundraising as well as timing issues.

"I feel like this three-year planning process has given us the opportunity to do our due diligence and make sure what we're including in this expansion is what's needed for this community," McDaniel said.

The new renovations will include a facility addition on the west side of the building with some of the existing facilities being rearranged. There are also plans to add an indoor pool, though the pool is not a part of the current project.

McDaniel said the money they received from the state can only go toward the new facility additions but not a pool. In 2017, the YMCA received $500,000 worth of Neighborhood Assistance Program tax credits from the Missouri Department of Economic Development.

Eventually, the YMCA plans to add an eight-lane, 25-yard competition pool. McDaniel said the YMCA has spoken to the city of Fulton about potentially partnering together on the pool, though those discussions are still ongoing.

"We are very early in our fundraising, but the fundraising we will continue to do will go towards the pool," McDaniel said.

The YMCA's new amenities in this phase of construction will include:

A teen/meeting space

A 24-hour fitness center

New weight machines

Additional squat racks

A multipurpose space

A racquetball court

Locker room renovations

A kitchen/concession area

Bathroom renovations

An expanded child watch area

A storage and office space

A new cross train area

A new group exercise studio

Additional parking spaces

The YMCA has hired Professional Contractors & Engineers and Simon Oswald Architecture out of Columbia for the project's design and construction. PCE President and CEO Andy Bonderer estimates the project will take 11 months to construct.

Bonderer said his company has been working with the YMCA on the project for the past two years. PCE was contracted to construct the current YMCA facility, and Bonderer, a Fulton resident, is happy to be able to continue their partnership.

"It's really kind of cool to watch (the YMCA) grow and to continue to be a part of it," he said.

The facility expansions and renovations come at the same time as the city of Fulton is constructing its new recreation center in Veterans Park. When asked about any concerns about having a similar structure just down the road from the YMCA, McDaniel said she does not have any.

"Our focus is community and its overall health," McDaniel said. "I think we are able to both operate in Fulton and offer our services to the residents of Fulton."

Shawn Hull, chair of the YMCA's board of directors, said the project is something the community has expressed a need and desire for. During the unveiling, Hull quoted Winston Churchill to summarize the current state of the project with, "Now, this is not the end, this is not even the beginning of the end, but it is the end of the beginning."

"I don't think I'd necessarily compare our capital campaign to the second World War, but it has been a big challenge. We've come a long way, and we've got a lot of work next year," Hull said.

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