On Thursday, the Terre Haute Parks and Recreation Board signed a lease agreement with the YMCA of Clay County in reference to the former Riverbank Family and Fitness Center.
YMCA of Clay County CEO Deborah Plummer told The Brazil Times the agreement calls for a three-year lease, which she said can be renewed.
"We have the option to negotiate at the end of the three-year period," Plummer said.
Plummer said the lease agreement officially begins Feb. 15, and ends Feb. 14, 2015.
She added the agreement stated the YMCA will not pay rent on the Vigo County facility through the first year, but will have to do so beginning the second year.
In addition, the City of Terre Haute will pay utilities for the first two months per the lease agreement. The YMCA will pay a third of utilities in the third and fourth months, two-thirds in the fifth and sixth months, and it will begin paying all utilities in the seventh month.
Even though the leasing agreement begins Feb. 15, Plummer said the Vigo County facility might not open for another three months, depending on fundraising, memberships and other situations.
"Over the next week, we will develop a timeline and a list of benchmarks and milestones that will allow us to better predict our opening," Plummer said. "The Terre Haute Parks and Recreation Board did a wonderful job of providing us an opportunity to be successful in Terre Haute through the lease agreement."
Plummer added within the next few days, a steering committee would be established in Vigo County to help look for financial support through businesses.
"Support from our current location is a mix of membership, program fees, community support through campaigns and the United Way (of the Wabash Valley)," Plummer said. "That mix of support allows us to maintain our basic operations as a YMCA. In Vigo County, we'll be doing that same thing."
Plummer said each location would have an advisory board assuring community needs are met. She will serve as CEO of the conglomerate.
She said they would also begin the process of hiring a staff for the facility, adding there will be three to four full-time positions in Vigo County.
"We will be hiring," she said.
Plummer said the two entities would act as an association. She said there are 85 different YMCA branches in the state, but 42 of them belong to associations. For example, there may be up to 10 YMCA facilities in Indianapolis, all of which are under the same umbrella.
"Some are standalone facilities," she said, of which Clay County was, "but many of them are in groups."
She added funding for both entities would stay within each county.
"Each community will support their own YMCA," Plummer said. "Although we are one association, each community will support their own facility and programs.
"Long term, having two branches sharing the administrative costs can open up new funds for Clay County."