CANCO helps celebrate Washington YMCA pool addition

CANCO helps celebrate Washington YMCA pool addition More than 100 people attended a groundbreaking ceremony July 11, 2023, outside the YMCA of Washington County, in Washington, Iowa, to mark a ceremonial start to construction of a new, $8.2 million indoor pool addition at the three-year-old Y facility. The existing building, as well as the upcoming addition, are design-build projects of Carl A. Nelson & Company. CANCO photo

11 months ago

Ground was broken to begin the $8.2 million design-build project, which adds six-lane competition and family pools to the new Y facility opened in 2020.

WASHINGTON, Iowa — Before an unexpectedly large crowd that surpassed 100 people on a hot July 11 morning, officials and supporters of the YMCA of Washington County broke ground on an $8.2 million indoor pool addition that will lead to the retirement of a century-old downtown facility.

The addition — which is being paid for with state and local grants, and donations from more than 300 individuals and businesses — will bring a six-lane, 25-yard competition pool with spectator seating, as well as a zero-entry family pool, sauna and whirlpool to the Y facility that opened in 2020.

Work on the existing YMCA building was the result of seven years of goal-setting, fundraising, design and construction. The original plan included two phases, with the pool addition being Phase II. Completion is anticipated in late summer 2024. Construction of the pool addition will be led by Carl A. Nelson & Company in the role of design-builder. The facility utilizes design by SVPA Architects in West Des Moines, Iowa, which also designed Phase I.

"The YMCA's purpose is to bring people and communities together," said YMCA of Washington County CEO Amy Schulte. "This project is the true embodiment of that purpose. Today's event has been 10 years in the making, and will be the beginning of many new and exciting opportunities for Washington."

YMCA of Washington County CEO Amy Schulte, center, holds a Carl A. Nelson & Company banner with members of the CANCO project team following a groundbreaking ceremony July 11, 2023, at the Y in Washington, Iowa. CANCO is design-builder for an $8.2 million pool addition at the Y, which opened its new location in 2020. Members of the CANCO team are, from left, Project Engineer Joel Johnston, President Chris Smith, Project Manager Tad Morrow and Vice President of Operations (Burlington) Dan Culp. CANCO photo

Prior to the ceremonial turning of dirt, several speakers addressed the event, including fundraising committee Chairman Ed Weeks, who recounted the history of the YMCA in Washington, praised the community for raising the money for both project phases, then spoke expectantly of the future. That expectation includes economic benefits for the broader community, built on opportunities such as the prospect of the Washington High School being able to field a swim team, perhaps with participation from other area high schools, rather than sending swimmers to Iowa City. The current 20-yard pool doesn't permit that, while also putting swimmers in the Y's youth program at a competitive disadvantage.

Among the various organizations Weeks praised for their roles in the projects, Weeks singled out Carl A. Nelson & Company, which in addition to being design-builder for the Y projects, has "rebuilt Washington" through past and ongoing work for the Washington Free Public Library, Washington County Hospitals and Clinics, United Presbyterian Home and the Washington Community School District, including a new high school performing arts center, and high school addition and renovation projects both past and present.

Board members, staff, Washington Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors and others dig into the soil where a six-lane competition pool, zero-entry family pool, whirlpool and sauna will be constructed as an addition to the YMCA of Washington County in Washington, Iowa. The project is being led by Carl A. Nelson & Company of Burlington and Cedar Falls, Iowa, as design-builder, using a design from SVPA Architects in West Des Moines, Iowa. CANCO photo

A crowd estimated at more than 100 people gathered July 11, 2023, under a hot summer sun to witness the groundbreaking ceremony for the YMCA of Washington's $8.2 million pool addition. CANCO photo