Construction ready to begin on YMCA facility | September 5, 2008 | Danville Express | |

Danville Express

Newsfront - September 5, 2008

Construction ready to begin on YMCA facility

Alamo Y will emphasize total wellness, and a place to connect with other people

by Geoff Gillette

Work is set to get under way on the preliminary infrastructure needed for the new YMCA facility on the Alamo/Danville border. Mt. Diablo Region YMCA CEO Michael Erwin said the work signals the beginning of the end of a multi-year $8.1 million capital campaign to put new facilities in Alamo and Oakley and renovate the existing facility in Pleasant Hill.

"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


Like this comment
Posted by Hal Bailey
a resident of another community
on Sep 5, 2008 at 8:14 am

Dear Hemme neighbors,

Your neighbors throughout our region regret this disgusting invasion of your neighborhood and the willful disregard for neighbors by the YMCA, Contra Costa County and the Town of Danville in imposing traffic and noise on your neighborhood lives. You have been the victim of Contra Costa politics twice and now such politics, with uncaring disregard, will place commercial operations and volumes of traffic at your doorsteps.

All neighbors regret we failed you,

Hal Bailey
Diablo Vista region neighborhoods

Like this comment
Posted by I. M. Unimpressed
a resident of Danville
on Sep 23, 2008 at 12:19 pm

While I understand how people who live on Hemme might be upset or concerned about this, I get tired of the NIMBY mindset that we all want amenities as long as they are located somewhere else. It's a YMCA, not a concrete mill or a nuclear power plant.

And Hal, as much as I understand you like to hear yourself talk, metaphorically (since this is text after all), I didn't vote for you to represent me in offering your mea culpas over things which you have no control or involvement. So offer apologies for yourself, don't speak for those you don't know and don't represent.