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Ozarks Regional YMCA Opposes Construction of New Family Center

With plans in place to soon break ground on the new Dan Kinney Family Center in the Springfield area, one local organization has been very public about its opposition to the new facility. KSMU’s Justin Lux has the details.

As the Springfield-Greene County Park Board looks to expand its first property east of Highway 65, the Ozarks Regional YMCA continues to voice its opposition to the construction of a new family center.

“We oppose the construction of the Dan Kinney Family Center really because there is no need for the facility.”

Ozarks Regional YMCA CEO, Brad Toft, says the new family center will duplicate the services of his organization’s two Springfield locations.

“We know, given where that location is, that both of our YMCA’s in town, our downtown Y and our southside Pat Jones Y, serve that market completely,” Toft says.

Parks Director Jodie Adams states that as early as 2003, the Park Board has been in contact with the YMCA about the plans for the Dan Kinney Family Center. According to Adams, both sides agreed in 2006 to bring the proposal to the voters.

“We both decided at that point that we would go ahead and put it on the ballot and let the people of Greene County decide where that third center would be and if they wanted that third center on the east side,” says Adams.

However, Brad Toft and the YMCA say that what was on the ballot was the Dan Kinney Park project, not a family center. Toft says that discrepancy is a real problem.

“Ya’ know we believe that the voters haven’t approved it and it has not been on any ballot language. They rely on the Vision 20/20 plan that was done in 1998. That’s a plan that was done 13 years ago and the world has changed an awful lot since then,” he states.

Jodie Adams says the bottom line is that the Park Board’s job is to fulfill the needs of Greene County citizens.“We actually serve all of Greene County so we must offer service as requested by citizens, and or voted by citizens, we must provide those services,” she says.

The groundbreaking for the new center is expected to take place in July. After it’s built, the Dan Kinney Family Center will be roughly six minutes away from the Pat Jones YMCA on Republic.For KSMU News, I’m Justin Lux.