YMCA construction on schedule


by Katie Buchholz

The Indianola community and Simpson College will be welcoming a YMCA in town beginning August 1.

Work has begun in the central and dividing walls according to city council members.

Jill Johnson, executive director of marketing and public relations and member of the wellness center planning committee, believes the project is staying on schedule.

“Construction is progressing very well and they are staying close to the timeline,” Johnson said.

On March 1, 2011, the ballot measure to build the wellness center passed by a majority. The anticipation of the project is not to be forgotten during these last few months.

Simpson College and the Indianola community will have many opportunities and benefits provided by a YMCA in close distance.

“Having a community recreation center is a vital piece that most of the communities surrounding Des Moines already have,” Johnson said. “Having a place open to very young children, school age children, adults and senior citizens helps the community as it looks to grow.”

Johnson explains that the Y will bring a wellness mentality to a community as well as promoting family and positive values.

Having these resources are very important because it highlights on wellness and preventative programs to stay wholesome.

“The Indianola Y will allow doctors and therapists to prescribe therapy programs for Indianola patients, which will allow them to rehab in town rather than having to go to Des Moines for some of those services,” Johnson said.

The YMCA’s location is near Summercrest Hills, just north of Indianola.

Simpson College will also benefit greatly from the Wellness Center.

“It (Simpson College) will benefit academically with new opportunities in exercise science, physical therapy, athletic training, sports management and research,” city council member and director of athletics, John Sirianni said.

In addition, the Simpson College swim team will have access to a competitive pool.

“We’ve really just barely scratched the surface in how students in those programs will benefit from having the facility in town,” Sirianni said.

“The completion of the pool will be great for us because we will be able to practice in a normal sized pool again (yards, whereas now Simpson’s pool has meters),” freshman swimmer Kyle McKim said.

The competitive pool is approximately 50 percent complete and grading has begun for the family pool according to the center’s website.

The YMCA will also allow Simpson to host more swim meets and attract new recruits.

A minor drawback for the swim team is the Y being located off campus.

“It might take some getting used to, maybe cause for earlier mornings,” McKim said. “I think the distance is only a minor setback though for such a great new facility.”

The Wellness Center plans to begin hiring soon for main full-time leadership and management positions.

Johnson explains that interested individuals can check out future openings at www.dmymca.org.

Next school year will be an exciting time for both Simpson and Indianola communities.

“It’ll be great to have such a nice pool at our disposal,” McKim said.