JARED FIELDS • PICAYUNE STAFF
BURNET — Big changes are coming to Galloway-Hammond Recreation Center as the city and YMCA of Greater Williamson County work toward an operating agreement for the center.
The two entities have agreed to a “Memorandum of Understanding,” which outlines operating subsidies and costs associated with running the center, located at 1601 U.S. 281 South, as a YMCA.
If the memorandum leads to an official agreement, the YMCA could see more than half-a-million dollars in renovations spread out over two phases.
City Manager David Vaughn said Phase 1, with an estimated cost of about $135,000, will happen regardless of the future of the partnership between the city and the YMCA.
The center’s weight, cardio, aerobics and spin rooms will be renovated in Phase 1, with more major changes possible in Phase 2.
“We have to make improvements to the current weight room first. The current cardio room will be the new aerobics room, and upstairs will be a new movie and spin room,” Vaughn said.
The Phase 1 price tag should be absorbed in this year’s budget, he said.
Before plans for Phase 2 begin, Vaughn said the city wants an operating agreement with the YMCA in place.
“I’m hoping that within two months, we’ll have that done,” he said.
Phase 2 will include major renovations that those entering the center will immediately notice. And Vaughn said that will be done with a purpose.
“We want it to be open and inviting,” he said. “When you walk in, we want it to be a place kids want to drag their parents to, not vice-versa.”
Part of that open feel will include moving office spaces and installing glass walls to allow visitors to see from the gym to the swimming pool.
The memorandum outlines the operating cost for the center should the two entities develop a long-term agreement. If that occurs, the city will pay a decreasing operating subsidy to the YMCA, starting with $175,000 in the first year and decreasing by $25,000 each year until it’s down to $100,000 per year.
“If everything works out in accordance with the plan, in three years, we’ll have the debt paid off and save almost $100,000 a year,” Vaughn said.