The chief executive officer of YMCA of Greater Indianapolis says a proposed $35 million facility in Westfield will help satisfy the needs of the community. Eric Ellsworth says the organization’s partnership with Westfield Washington Schools to bring the 65,000-square-foot YMCA branch and natatorium to life is a natural one that will create the most benefit for the money being spent.

The facility will house a 50-meter pool that the district could use for swim meets and physical education classes, but could also be separated into different sections for competitive swimming, swim instruction and recreational swimming. It would also include multiple gymnasiums, a health and wellness center with state-of-the-art equipment, an indoor running track, child care space, as well as community meeting space.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Ellsworth said the organization has been trying to build a YMCA in Westfield for years and began the collaboration with Westfield Schools when the district began looking into building a new aquatic facility.

"We began to have some conversations with between the city and Westfield Schools and the YMCA and it’s something the community is read for," said Ellsworth. "We did a market study to see how much use of the facility there would be and we also did a fundraising feasibility study and the numbers on the marketing survey were really good and it also said that the community was in a mood to be generous to a project like this."

Ellsworth says a fundraising campaign has begun to generate the $20 million the YMCA is contributing to the project. He says the organization will have to be aggressive in its fundraising efforts in order to meet the goal of opening the facility by the fall of 2020 but he believes they’ll be able to hit that mark. 

The district is contributing $15 million to the project and says it has the capital on hand to contribute to the project without raising funds or a referendum. Ellsworth adds Westfield Washington Schools Superintendent Sherry Grate’s previous efforts in helping bring a YMCA branch to Auburn, Indiana was a contributing factor in forming the partnership.

The facility would be located at the intersection of 181st Street and Wheeler Road on property that was donated by the Wheeler Family. Ellsworth says the proximity to Westfield Schools, Grand Park Sports Campus and the Monon Trail makes the location a perfect site for the development.

Ellsworth says they are now working on the design of the facility to show potential donors and the next step is to go into the community to find new partners before submitting to the city for final approvals before construction begins.

Ellsworth says the collaboration with Westfield Schools started when the district began looking into building a new aquatic facility.