Bossier City to create new look for YMCA in hopes of attracting donor

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The new YMCA facility in Shreveport off Clyde Fant Parkway that opened in March of 2017. (Randy Brown/Press-Tribune)

Bossier City is looking to create a design for its new YMCA concept in north Bossier that would attract a donor and allow the project to move forward.

The city council will decide at its June 5 meeting whether to hire local architect Mike McSwain to produce a design for the facility near the North Bossier Park.

At Tuesday’s city council agenda meeting, several council members were dismayed at the current facility’s design, with several remarking the current concept “looks like a prison.”

“The idea is to get Mike McSwain to design another picture and hope someone will invest in it?” councilman Don Williams asked.

“You have to have something that is appealing to the eye so a major donor would say, ‘I want my name on that.’ From the very beginning, we requested that and it went in one ear and straight out the other. We want to get something that enhances what we already have there (at the park) — the Augusta, old South look,” Councilman David Montgomery, Jr. answered. “Right now, who would want their name on a prison?”

The city appropriated $70,000 from the 2016 Revenue Bond Capital Projects Fund last October for JWH Project Consulting, LLC, to perform a feasibility study. This study examined the financing and programming of a potential new YMCA facility at the North Bossier Park near Brownlee Road.

The financial study found that there is not enough money from membership to sustain the building and build it, thus the need for a donor.

City Attorney Jimmy Hall said at Tuesday’s meeting that finding a donor is “key to moving forward” with a YMCA facility in north Bossier.

“The concept is that there has to be a donor of some kind. What’s structurally wrong is that (the study) didn’t take into account BHP Billiton came up with $10 million for the Shreveport YMCA facility,” said Hall. “I couldn’t tell you today that it will, or will not, be built.”

“But I know it’s not going to be sold to someone in its current design,” he added.

The council will vote on an ordinance to appropriate another $12,300 from the city’s 2018 Riverboat Capital Projects Fund for McSwain to design a concept more suited to the North Bossier campus. The North Bossier Park includes a tennis club, multipurpose fields, a playground, a spray park, and walking trails.

”The schematic design for the proposed YMCA needs to have an exterior conceptual design that blends with an already existing tennis facility,” the ordinance reads. 

Bossier City Chief Administrative Officer Pam Glorioso said last fall that the new facility in Bossier could be up to 15,000 square feet larger than the 70,000 square-foot YMCA facility off Clyde Fant Parkway in Shreveport.