Ground officially broken on new Toledo Wayman Palmer YMCA

Ground officially broken on new Toledo Wayman Palmer YMCA
Published: Sep. 13, 2023 at 11:41 AM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - It’s official, the new Wayman Palmer YMCA project in Toledo is finally underway.

Ground was broken Tuesday, a process city leaders admit has been a long one and full of complications when it comes to paying for it. The project is something that came in over the expected cost and money is still being sought.

“For over 20 years this neighborhood has not had anything like this to happen,” said Charles Waldon of the Warren Sherman Area Council.

Waldon has served on the Wayman Palmer board and he knows it’s been a tricky project. What started as roof replacement, turned into a brand-new facility. Originally the price came in at $22 million, now it’s pushing $29 million.

“We dedicated ourselves to keeping this promise. It is true as COVID costs pushed the price of everything higher than we wished it would have been,” said Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz.

Mayor Kapszukiewicz says his team huddled and came up with a funding plan. That includes federal recovery dollars, federal community development block grants and there’s an application pending for new market tax credits.

“It’s tough to make investments in a market that’s experienced disinvestment. It’s tough. You have to be strategic with the little money you do have,” said Rosalyn Clemens, director of Toledo’s Housing and Community Development Department.

As the I-Team has documented, the city worked through lots of plans to pay for this new Y amid the rising costs. It took nearly three years to put that all together, which included YMCA leaders who said Tuesday at the ground breaking they’re launching a capital campaign. The organization has pledged $3 million, making Wayman Palmer the number one priority.

“We have a group of volunteers that are ready to go to talk to you and ask for your financial support. We need your financial support to do this,” said Brad Toft, president and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Toledo.

If those new market tax credits are not approved, the city will need to use more of its block grant dollars in future years to make up the difference.

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