Wilkinson Corporation Commits Support to Yakima YMCA’s New Aquatics Center

For more than 110 years the Yakima YMCA has served the Yakima Valley from its downtown location. In 2013, the YMCA began to assess the possibility of building a new two-story, 72,000-square-foot facility, including an aquatic center, to serve “…one of Yakima’s most financially challenged and in-need neighborhoods,” as noted in YMCA’s project description.

In 2014 the City of Yakima dedicated funds to the new complex. After clearing the usual design and permitting hurdles, and gaining other initial financial commitments, in late 2017 the YMCA unveiled the details to the broader community. The intended completion date is fall of 2019.

The Yakima Rotary, a key partner along with the City of Yakima, invested significantly into the project in the early stages. As a long-time member of the Rotary, Russ Wilkinson, chairman and founder of Yakima-based Wilkinson Corporation, jumped on the opportunity for his company to support the project as well, committing $10,000 over four years.

Wilkinson recounts his own experiences: “I loved spending time at the YMCA when I was a kid growing up,” he said. “And over time, I have seen what a great resource the YMCA has been for the community, especially the youth programs that serve children who may not live in a stable family situation. These kids get to participate in positive recreational experiences and receive mentoring at the YMCA that can make a lasting mark on their lives.”

Bob Romero, YMCA executive director, noted Wilkinson’s support: “Thank you for your commitment to improve the lives of youth and families in our community through the development of the new YMCA and Rotary Aquatic Center,” said Romero. “The support of caring and compassionate people like you is what makes this project possible. Thank you for your incredible generosity. We truly appreciate you!”

The facility will include a community gathering space, youth development area, teaching kitchen, group fitness and cardio center, gym and indoor running track, eight-lane competition pool, warm-water therapy pool for seniors and those with limited mobility, and a family recreational pool with lazy river, spray and slide features.