YMCA Explores Options in Moore County
By Tom Embrey
YMCA officials are exploring the potential for locating a facility and programs in Moore County.
Community leaders from Moore County, including those from Moore County Schools, Moore County Parks and Recreation and the Town of Southern Pines met today with YMCA officials to discuss the possibilities.
YMCA officials are determining the community needs that a YMCA could fill, and ultimately deciding if enough community interest exists to have a presence in Moore County, said Phill Morgan, YMCA national resource director.
An average YMCA facility is 45,000 square feet and costs approximately $8 million, said Rick Houp, CEO of YMCA in the Sandhills, which is based in Cumberland County.
A facility in Moore County would be under the umbrella of the YMCA of the Sandhills.
YMCAs range in size from 15,000 square feet to 70,000 square-feet. Large facilities would have more amenities such as a pool and a gyn.
“What ultimately decides that (size of the facility) is the fund-raising in the community,” Houp said.
Houp said it is possible for the YMCA to utilize partnerships with local organizations to bring programs to the area before a facility is built.
Another meeting is scheduled for late April, he said.
From there, there are several steps that would need to happen over the next 12 to 18 months before, “boots are on the ground with a board, a charter and funds raised,” Morgan said.
The YMCA focuses on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility through its mission of putting Christian principles into practice through programs that build a healthy spirit, mind and body for all.
“It’s not about what takes place inside four walls of a building,” Morgan said, “it’s about strengthening a community.”
There are more than 2,665 chartered YMCAs in the United States with over 20 million members, 560,000 volunteerss and 10,000 child care sites. There are 105 YMCAs in North Carolina, including several within 40 miles of Moore County, including facilities in Fayetteville, Asheboro, Hope Mills and Sanford.
George Williams founded the Young Men’s Christian Association in England in 1844 as a refuge of Bible study and prayer for young men seeking escape from the hazards of life on the streets.
Thomas Valentine Sullivan founded the first U.S. YMCA at Old South Church in Boston on Dec. 29, 1891.
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