YMCA Unable to Acquire Foreign Funding for Olympic-Sized Pool

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- The Wellmark YMCA won't be getting help from foreign investors to finally build an Olympic-sized pool in downtown Des Moines.

The YMCA doesn't qualify for the EB-5 program, which would have granted green cards to immigrants who donated at least $500,000 to the project.

A report says the project would not have been able to create 160 jobs required by the EB-5 program and the YMCA couldn’t show it had the ability to repay the investors.

“Although EB-5 was one of many funding options we pursued for the Wellmark Y aquatic center, we realized it wasn’t the best fit for us. Therefore, it wasn’t our primary choice to fill our funding gap,” said Amy Smith, director of marketing and public relations.

“In the past few months there has been a renewed effort to cultivate additional community support and philanthropic dollars toward completion of the pool. That’s where our primary focus has been and will remain in the future, as we work with community members and leaders to reach the finish line on this project for central Iowa,” Smith said.

In the meantime, a giant dirt patch sits where the pool is planned.