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City of Muncie buys downtown YMCA building for $500,000

Plans call for consolidation into one facility on campus of Muncie Central High School

MUNCIE, Ind.- The YMCA of Muncie has sold its downtown facility to the City of Muncie for $500,000.

Working toward building a new, state of the art community recreation center, the downtown Y sold their building to the city with a leaseback clause. The sale was finalized at the Sept. 15 Muncie Redevelopment Commission meeting.

Plans call to consolidate the downtown and Northwest facilities into one location across from Muncie Central High School.

In a press release, president and CEO of the Muncie Y, Chad Zaucha, says he hopes the new facility will help spur economic momentum within the community, including the potential to increase neighboring property values.

“Partnering with the City in this sale just made sense,” Zaucha said in a press release. “The YMCA and the City of Muncie share common goals in unity: As a multi-faceted organization, the Y serves all segments of the community, giving everyone a place tobelong.”

"[The purchase was] an important investment for the community,” Mayor Dan Ridenour said.

"Yes, we might have to demolish if that's what ends up happening, but I think we would probably put out a full RFP (request for proposal) and get requests for proposals and see what people want,” Ridenour said at the redevelopment meeting. “Some might want to put in apartments…I'd love another IT or software company to move in. You know there's all kinds of things.”

The sale paves the way for the YMCA’s next step in its new facility project, plans which were announced last year. 

“The existing downtown facility was built over 40-years ago, and the needs of the community are much different now than they were then,” Zaucha said in the press release. “The new facility will be easily accessible to the community and will provide more space for our growing youth programs, intergenerational gathering places and more.”

The sale was approved by a 4-1 vote, with commissioner Isaac Miller voting against. It’s likely the new facility will not be complete for a couple more years, however the downtown Y will continue to operate out of the current building via the lease back agreement with the city.

Contact Alex Almanza with comments at aalmanza@bsu.edu