New Meridian YMCA complex opens Friday

Posted at 5:16 PM, May 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-24 19:16:16-04

The new south Meridian YMCA complex opens on Friday. It's an extraordinary example of how communities can make the most of their resources and other communities are taking notice.    

Those behind the building call it a dream started by large donations of land which brought together multiple players to make something special. 

"It's part of a great partnership we have with the YMCA St. Luke's, Meridian, the school district and the library all in this partnership together," said Steve Siddoway, director of Meridian Parks and Recreation.

Getting that many players to work together for the common good is anything but easy. For instance, the YMCA and school built the parking lot shared by the new park, saving the city money and in turn, the school district and St. Luke's get to use the city's new park for activities. 

"Collaboration is what we should be doing and what our citizens expect us to do, but the devil is in the details and taking time to do it right the first time," Meridian Mayor Tammy de Weerd said. 

There may be bugs to work out down the road, but that's to be expected with something brand new.

"This is something that other communities will copy.  It's the first in the nation and we've already talked to a couple of communities," de Weerd said.

St. Luke's will have a large presence to take advantage of a healthier environment to pass along lifestyle advice. 

"So, some of the services offered out here are supervised exercise and cooking classes.  We'll have a medial director on site.  And we've got an opportunity to transform lifestyles of so many people," said Jeff Wagner, Clinical Supervisor for St. Luke's.

All that's left to do is to cut the ribbon and watch the rest of the world take notice.