July 12, 2016

YMCA Dives into Schilling with Construction of Pools

By Ron Caldwell
– The Collierville Herald –

The new YMCA at Schilling Farms in Collierville is more than a dream or plans on a piece of paper, as both the indoor and outdoor pools have been poured.

The two pools will feature the latest, state-of-the-art technology and design for the enjoyment of all ages using the facility, according to Kim Ballard, executive director of the Collierville YMCA.

The YMCA outdoor pool will be a six-lane, 25 meter pool that has a "zero entry." The feature will allow young children and people with disabilities to enter the water by walking into the pool instead of entering via steps or off the side of the pool.

The water will go from four feet to seven feet and back to four feet, which is a feature that is ideally suited for teaching lessons, lap swimming and water aerobics, said Ms. Ballard.

"A lot of thought went into this design to make the pool suited to everyone’s needs," said Ms. Ballard.

The outdoor pool will also have a water park with a water slide, a kiddy water slide and tumble buckets and umbrella-like raindrops for the enjoyment of young people. And, one end of the pool will be 12-foot deep with diving boards.

In addition to the outdoor pool, which is expected to be ready for use by next summer, officials at the YMCA at Schilling Farms said the indoor pool for the new center has also been poured in the past week.

The indoor pool will also feature the spoon-shaped, four-foot, seven-foot, four-foot design. The indoor facility will be housed inside the YMCA building at Schilling Farms with a glass motif. The pool itself will be a six-lane, 25-meter pool.

"We believe, depending on the weather, that the building and the indoor pool should be ready to open by May," said Ms. Ballard. "It is very exciting to see things start moving along and to see the pools being poured."

She added that the sewer lines and preliminary groundwork are beginning on the facility and that in the next two weeks, the foundation for the structure of the YMCA building will be poured.

The 45,000-square-foot facility, which will be the first new YMCA branch that has built in the Mid-South since the 1960’s, will feature something for everyone.

The YMCA in Collierville will feature a 5,000 square-foot wellness center with weights, nautilus machines and an aerobic studio. The YMCA at Schilling Farms will also feature racquetball courts, meeting rooms, running tracks, kitchen facilities, saunas, hot tubs, and the indoor and outdoor pools.

The facility will also offer the wide variety of community and family programs for all ages that has become a trademark of YMCA. Day care, before and after school care, family programs, teen programs, youth sports, summer camps, and senior programs are some of the offerings that will be available through YMCA at Schilling Farms, said Ms. Ballard.

Lindy and Associates will be the architect on the project while Linkous Construction Company will be the general contractor.

The site, which is located 500 feet into the Schilling Farms property at the Poplar View Parkway entrance off Poplar Avenue, was made possible through a donation by Harry Smith of Collierville, a partner in the Schilling Farms development along with Boyle Investment Company.

The YMCA has launched a major fund-raising campaign in an effort to raise $3 million for the Collierville branch to build and equip the center.

"We are about half-way toward our campaign goal," said Ms. Ballard. "That is wonderful, but we still need contributions and help reach our goal."

"We are looking for community volunteers and citizens to help with this campaign," said Ms. Ballard. "The YMCA is committed to bringing this full facility YMCA to Collierville."

The steering committee for the YMCA campaign, chaired by Collierville resident Tommy Hart and consisting of Collierville residents Harry Smith, Kay Stamps, Dean Wingo and Jane Prather, is in the process of contacting area businesses and individuals to donate to the drive, said Ms. Ballard.