"We've raised about $7.5 million of our $8.1 million goal," Erwin said.
Money for the work has been raised from Contra Costa County residents since 2005, and now the YMCA Board of Directors has given Erwin the go-ahead to get the ball rolling to bring the plans to fruition.
Work was scheduled to begin this week on an extension of Lewis Lane and a bridge over the San Ramon Creek to give construction vehicles access to the 12-acre site purchased by the YMCA for its new facility. The Mt. Diablo Region recently entered into a contract with R.L. Harris Co. to build the bridge.
The land is located just east of Danville Boulevard, south of Hemme Avenue and is bordered by Hap Magee Ranch Park on the south.
Erwin said the plan currently calls for getting the bridge in, with any further activity on the site itself taking place late in the spring. The new YMCA will be campus-style with buildings spread out to accommodate the rolling topography of the area.
"It will have features that will blend and meld with the geographic features of the area," Erwin said.
The initial phase will be a 29,000-square-foot facility that will include an indoor warm water therapy pool, an outdoor lap pool and a family splash zone. Erwin said the water in the outdoor pool will be heated and he is expecting to see use of the facility all year round.
"At our Pleasant Hill facility we see just as many people at the outdoor pool in the winter as we do in the summer," he noted.
The Alamo facility will also feature exercise facilities, a community center for gatherings and a health and wellness center featuring a "teaching kitchen."
"For nutrition education and meal preparation," explained Erwin. "Part of our overall strategy and initiative is total wellness, not just the fitness aspects. That's one of the things that's really going to set us apart."
Erwin said they are focused on making the YMCA a gathering place, where social interaction and wellness go hand in hand. In the community area, there will be kiosks providing water, coffee, drinks and healthy snacks.
"We don't want to rush people in and then rush them out again," said Erwin. "We want them to connect to other people in the community."
Construction is expected to begin sometime around April. Erwin said if all goes well, they could be opening the doors in late spring 2010.
Fundraising will continue as the construction gets under way. Erwin said he is confident they'll make their $8.1 million goal, but he also knows that it won't stop there.
"We'll celebrate when we get to that 8.1 but we know we'll have further needs and emerging partners," he said.
Information on the ongoing fundraising efforts and how to make contributions to the construction of the new facilities can be found at mdrymca.org.