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More data sought on Plum YMCA project

| Saturday, Dec. 3, 2011

Members of the Plum Borough planning commission want more data before considering the proposed multimillion-dollar expansion of the East Suburban YMCA.

Brian Almeter, landscape architect for Fahringer, McCarty, Grey Inc., said he is working to provide borough engineer Robert Mitall additional information on the stormwater management plan and a soil-erosion control plan for the project along Route 286.

"The general feel is that it is a good project for the community," Almeter said. "There are some technical items we need to address."

Commission members last week recommended approval of a six-lot consolidation plan for the project but tabled a site plan until they can review the additional information. The planning commission makes recommendations to borough council.

YMCA officials hope to break ground in March or April on the 30,000-square-foot addition to and remodeling of the existing building.

It is expected to cost between $8 million and $9 million.

Donations for the project are near $5 million, YMCA Executive Director Larry Stormer said.

The Sampson family last year presented a $1 million gift from the Sampson Foundation to the YMCA for the project.

The revamped facility will be named the Sampson Family YMCA.

The expansion is to include a wellness center and track; an indoor aquatic center, including a warm-water therapy pool; a new child watch area and child care addition; a new community room; locker rooms; a preventive health class and rehabilitation program area; and a potential teen center.

"It's a great community project," Stormer said.

Almeter said the YMCA plan calls for consolidating six parcels scattered about the property as well as a parcel on Kane Road and one on Route 286 into a single, 53-acre track.

The project also includes highway improvements, a new driveway and a new traffic signal at the intersection of Route 286 and Kane Road, Almeter said.

Almeter plans to have the additional information to Mitall in time for the commission to consider the site plan at its Dec. 19 meeting.

Almeter said the project remains on track.

Commission member Paul DeSabato is impressed with what he has seen in the plan.

"It is a nice project," DeSabato said. "It will be a nice addition to the YMCA."

Karen Zapf is a staff writer with the Advance-Leader of Plum.

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