Home News-Free Proposed YMCA in North Bossier on Bossier City Council 12/7 agenda

Proposed YMCA in North Bossier on Bossier City Council 12/7 agenda

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On December 7, the Bossier City Council as part
of their regular meeting will hear a presentation by Gary Lash, CEO of the YMCA of Northwest
Louisiana, about the possibility of building a YMCA in the North Bossier Park. All Bossier City
residents interested in the project are invited to attend the meeting to be held at 3PM at the
Municipal Complex located at 620 Benton Road.

The YMCA of Northwest Louisiana is in favor of the project and would like to publicly share their
perspective. Please see below.

Here are a few items you should know

• In the discussed proposal, Bossier City will build and own the YMCA; the staff of the
YMCA of Northwest Louisiana will operate the facility
• Bossier Parks and Recreation will have access to utilize the YMCA for its youth sports
programs including basketball and volleyball
• In the discussed proposal the Bossier City YMCA will be 65,000 Square feet and contain
a 50-meter Pool, Family Pool, Basketball Gym, Exercise Studios, Indoor Walking Track,
Cardio and Strength Equipment, Conference Room and Child Watch
• The YMCA of Northwest Louisiana estimates more than 150 jobs will be created at the
YMCA in Bossier City
• Once approved, it will take approximately 12-18 months to construct the new YMCA
• Membership will be available at the current YMCA of Northwest Louisiana rates of
$54/month for an individual membership and $90/month for a family membership
• Membership to the Bossier City YMCA will also enable members to access any other

YMCA of Northwest Louisiana facility

Why We (the YMCA of Northwest Louisiana) Are for the Y in North Bossier
Bossier City is growing and needs to continue to find ways to improve its quality of life and
stimulate economic growth. The Y will create jobs and draw countless families over numerous
weekends, due to swim meets and other sports tournaments, to eat in Bossier City restaurants,
shop in Bossier City shops and stay in Bossier City hotels. Even if Bossier City were only
looking at the Y from the standpoint of a return on investment (“ROI”), building a new Y in
North Bossier would be an astute and sound business decision. It will create a $6-7M per year
economic impact.

But we all know the fact that a city is growing is only a portion of what convinces families to
move there. The other major component is the quality of life. How is the traffic? How many
different opportunities will there be for your family, for your kids? Will it be safe, healthy?
In a poll that was published this past March, Shreveport-Bossier was named the 5th most
obese metro area in the country. It is alarming and not something you ever want to hear
about the place where you have put down roots and decided to call home. We have to address
this problem. Otherwise, long-term, we are going to face great difficulty recruiting people to
come here and finding ways to retain them if they decide to come.

It is from a quality of life perspective, in which Bossier City needs to evaluate building a Y in
North Bossier. Here are a few of the ways the YMCA will significantly enhance quality of life:

• A water safety program for every Bossier Parish second grader
• Child watch that allows parents to leave their kids in a safe and monitored environment
while they can take a group exercise class or work out
• Summer Camps that will keep your kids active and get them outdoors
• Programs and events for those with special needs
• Countless wellness programming for kids, teens and adults
• Numerous events that build community and bring people together

As physical education classes are being cut across the schools and our kids are spending more
time with electronic media and less time on physical activity, our community needs YMCAs
more than ever.

Bossier City has been discussing the prospect of building a Y in the city for many years. Now is
the time to move forward. The city needs to capitalize on the incredible momentum and
wonderful staff that the YMCA of Northwest Louisiana has been able to create with the addition
of the BHP Y and bring this quality of life to its citizens. It is additions like a Y in Bossier City
that ultimately will determine whether Bossier City is great for generations to come.

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