YMCA breaks ground in Newcastle

August 1, 2008

By Jim Feehan

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Newcastle residents will soon find it’s fun to stay at the YMCA.

Last month, the Lake Heights Family YMCA reached its $2.6 million fundraising goal for its Coal Creek YMCA project, and clearing began on the 49,000-square-foot YMCA parcel located on Newcastle Golf Club Road near 136th Avenue Southeast, said Scott Sadler, Eastside executive of the Lake Heights YMCA.

“This facility is going to meet the needs of a growing population,” he said.

The site is half cleared and a construction trailer is on the 5-acre site, he said.

When the Lake Heights facility began 22 years ago, it served 6,000 people. When the new YMCA opens, it will serve 15,000 people in Newcastle, as well as south Bellevue, the Renton Highlands and May Valley.

“We’re pretty excited about the opening,” Sadler said.

The YMCA should open for business in late summer or early fall 2009, he said. The facility will feature two pools, a gym, a family center, a climbing wall, a kitchen and a meeting room.

In 2001, a survey conducted by the YMCA revealed that Newcastle, along with neighboring south Bellevue and north Renton, would support a facility.

For the past year, the Lake Heights YMCA has operated from several different sites. Before and after-school programs are offered at Hazelwood Elementary School and four other elementary schools in nearby Renton and Bellevue. Senior programs are offered at Newport Community Church. The full-time preschool and the temporary Lake Heights YMCA office are at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church, across the street from Newport High School in Factoria.

“As our mission statement says, we’re all about building strong families and strong communities,” Sadler said.

Newcastle City Councilwoman Jean Garber said she was pleased the YMCA met its fundraising goal and construction will begin.

“Our new YMCA will enhance the sense of community that makes Newcastle a wonderful place to live, work and play,” she said.

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