A community college and a YMCA in northern Michigan have entered into a deal that the two groups said will avoid the duplication of services to area residents.
Muskegon Community College (MCC) will purchase the Muskegon Family YMCA on Western Avenue for $1.17 million in a deal approved Wednesday by a unanimous vote from the college's board of trustees. The YMCA board, led by chairman Rod Hayhurst, approved the purchase at its meeting on Tuesday, according to MLive.com.
“We were interested in avoiding unnecessary and costly duplication of facilities and enhancing coordination of services,” MCC Board of Trustees Chairman Donald Crandall said in a statement. “The college is firmly committed to addressing Muskegon County’s low health ranking in Michigan over the last 20 years. We will collaborate with other organizations while directing both our educational expertise and our community-centered health and wellness programming toward reversing that unacceptable trend.”
MCC will pay off the YMCA's existing bank debt to Muskegon-based Community Shores Bank and help pay off the YMCA's loan to the Community Foundation. The YMCA reported net asset losses of $58,166 in 2012 and $77,254 in 2013, according to the most recent tax documents posted on its website.
MCC is expecting construction to begin on its $6.1 million Health and Wellness Center in spring 2016 with completion expected in winter 2017.
The center is a renovation of two of the oldest buildings on campus, which will include 12,800 square feet of renovated space and 17,599 square feet of new space. The center will have a new recreation floor area, fitness center, classrooms and training space that will serve 10 academic areas. MCC President Dale Nesbary expects the new fitness and health facilities will generate operational revenue to offset increased costs association with the additional building space.
MCC has contracted with Illinois-based Power Wellness to operate both the campus and the Western Avenue facilities.
Hayurst said the idea for the deal came forward at a point of redefinition for the local YMCA's mission.
“That included expanding beyond the walls of the facility into new partnerships," Hayurst said in a statement. "We saw it as being an opportunity to correct some of the encumbrances that we have had, that have bound us to not improving the facility and not being able to do some of the community outreach that we really wanted to do. “
YMCA CEO Bruce Spoelman said the new agreement will allow the YMCA to focus on chronic disease prevention and expand community programs, according to MLive.com. The YMCA will transform its programs and Hayurst said there is "some time" for that transition.
“Power Wellness will be a partner in helping understand and decide how to do that," Hayurst said. "Going forward, I see the Y wanting to maintain a presence at the Western Avenue facility. But this gives the Y the impetus to explore how to exist in other physical locations throughout Muskegon, which is something that we’ve been on the path of doing.”
The Muskegon Family YMCA will continue to own and operate Camp Pendalouan in northern Muskegon County.