After years of wishing, the first recreational center to be based in Joshua is becoming reality.
City Council supported debt obligation last week that will fund construction of a YMCA to be located in Joshua Station, joining anchor tenant Brookshire's grocery in the development.
The unanimous council vote supported the intent to issue certificates of obligation to fund construction of the center at $360,000 a year for 20 years.
"In the interest of saving time and money, we decided to replicate one of our more popular models in Joshua," said Todd Baker, who presented the YMCA's schematic to council. "This is an initial look at it, not necessarily the final version."
One member of council wondered if indoor basketball courts couldn't be included. The city has one outdoor court at City Park, but no other basketball courts other than those in gymnasiums at the schools.
"One of the things that wasn't identified high on the list the community wanted was basketball courts," Baker said.
The city organized a community survey some time ago to determine the desires of the community, which led to the features of the city park. Considering some of that information, the YMCA surveyed potential users to determine what should be included in its center.
"Our goal is to deliver this for less than the budget," Baker said. "We would like to open sometime after November or in December 2013."
That timetable is an advantage to the YMCA in getting off to a good start in Joshua, he said.
"We would like to have our best foot forward on Jan. 1, 2014," Baker said. "That's a time we like to call resolution rush."
The theory is the center could open in late November or early December and have some time to work out any issues. Residents tend to make New Year's resolutions, like working out more and losing weight, that come Jan. 1 they need to find a way to keep.
The schematic shared by Baker incorporates the items that ranked high on the wish list discovered through the YMCA's community survey. There's also the potential to expand or in time change the offerings.
"We serve the communities we are in, but we also know communities change," he said.
The structure being proposed has one long load-bearing wall. It is the only space that couldn't change, Baker said.
"It allows us to add a gymnasium or indoor pool if it were determined that that school district wanted to start a swim team, for instance," he said.
Some of the first clients could be a high percentage of Joshua police officers, according to Police Chief Annabeth Robertson, who indicated her officers are looking forward to the YMCA. Officers don't have workout space at the Joshua Police Station.
Like other Joshua residents, they are left having to make the decision to leave the city to find a recreational center. Many residents likely travel to the Burleson Recreational Center, where in the future they could go to Joshua Station, located across from Joshua High School.