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YMCA Governing Board gives go-ahead to Gibsonton plan

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The 30 community leaders that make up the Governing Board of the Tampa Metropolitan YMCA recently gave the green light to a proposed plan to build a new facility in South County.

BY PENNY FLETCHER

The thirty community leaders that make up the Governing Board of the Tampa Metropolitan YMCA recently gave the green light to a proposed plan to build a new facility in South County.

“The Governing Board is made up of community representatives from all over the county from varied interests and organizations that take in many facets of community development and social responsibility,” said Cindy Sofarelli, senior vice president for the Tampa Metropolitan YMCA Group.

Because the land lease with the county is currently being negotiated, no figures, or target dates are yet available, she said.

But the YMCA board has approved Phase I to begin as soon as the lease is finalized.

The facility will be built adjacent to the south side of the existing Vance Vogel Park on Bullfrog Creek Road in Gibsonton on a 42-acre plot owned by Hillsborough County.

It will be a partnership between the YMCA, Hillsborough County and many community entities, Sofarelli said.

“We are already in partnership with many in the community in that area,” she explained. “We’ve been giving swimming lessons at the Summerfield pool for three years, and been doing the Silver Sneakers program at the Sun City Center United Methodist Church.”

Now that the Waterset development on Big Bend Road has begun to sell homes, the Y plans include providing youth sports there as well.

“We are also talking with South Bay Church (on the east side of U.S. 301 between the Summerfield and South Fork developments) about using their multi-purpose area for youth and perhaps even some adult sports,” she added.

Some programs that are being held in these communities may move to the new facility when it is completed, but that is not a given, Sofarelli said.

As soon as the land lease has been negotiated, the Y is ready to begin Phase I which will include all site preparation and utilities, retention ponds, multi-purpose outdoor fields, and a covered, outdoor basketball pavilion.

“As we move forward, we will be in partnership with the county’s Parks and Rec (Parks, Recreation and Conservation Department),” she said.

The Campo YMCA facility which serves as the area’s YMCA base in Valrico is already in partnership with the county in several other projects, she said.

Once built, the facility will offer the area about 125 jobs, the first of which may be applied for now. These include lifeguards, sports event attendants, yoga and Pilates instructors and other opportunities listed under “employment” at www.tampabayymca.org.

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