YMCA, DMACC Unable to Agree, Plans Scrapped for Ankeny Facility

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ANKENY, Iowa -- Construction is already underway on the new workout facility and student center on DMACC's Ankeny campus, but the facility will no longer include a partnership with the YMCA.

It was announced Wednesday that a planned partnership between the YMCA of Greater Des Moines and DMACC to operate a recreation facility in Ankeny will not move forward.

“We’re disappointed that it’s not going to go forward. We feel like it would have been a value to the Ankeny Community and a good way to serve YMCA members, but that being said, it needed to be done in a financially prudent manner,” said interim CEO Jim Noyce.

Noyce also said the YMCA'S financial projections showed it could pay the lease payments required to operate and managed the facility. The YMCA wanted a longer time frame to make those payments, but DMACC officials didn’t agree.

“Some of the projections we had received earlier which we had formed the basis of our agreement, it changed after new leadership got in and they looked at their new numbers and the new numbers just did not allow them to meet the agreement as it had been established,” said DMACC president Rob Denson.

Denson said Wednesday that the two organizations had been in talks for two years. But after the numbers changed, the DMACC board decided to not continue to the partnership.

“These kinds of things, many times they work, sometimes they don’t. And we’re both two great organizations. So I don’t think there is any disappointment or happiness. It just is what it is,” Denson said.

In the letter, obtained by Channel 13, the YMCA’s HR Director Stacey Haviland writes, “We were hopeful we could come to an agreement because we believe the partnership would have had many positive benefits for the community.  After many discussions and months of effort, unfortunately, we were unable to reach an agreement that worked for both parties.  Our financial projections showed that although we had the capacity to pay for the building in the form of lease payments, we required a longer time frame for payment than DMACC.”

At the end of February, the YMCA also pulled out of a long-planned project to build a facility on land that had been donated in Grimes.

The YMCA is still working to secure funds to build a pool at the new Wellmark YMCA in downtown Des Moines.