NASHVILLE, TN — Mayor Megan Barry released the following statement asking the Metro Parks Board to defer, by one month, consideration of a proposal to transfer operations of the Northwest Family YMCA to the Metro Parks Department:
“My goal in partnering with the YMCA is to ensure that the Bordeaux community continues to have access to a great fitness and recreation facility. When the YMCA leadership approached my administration with this proposal, I believed it was important for Metro to step up and commit to maintaining operations as the most viable option for long-term sustainability of this facility. It also provides us the opportunity to work with the community to build upon the great work of the YMCA and offer more services to benefit the community.
“It is clear from conversations with members of the community that more work needs to be done to deliver this message to the Bordeaux community. I’m asking the Metro Parks Board to defer this proposal until September so further community engagement can take place that will allow the Y and Metro to explain why we believe this proposal is in the best interest of the community long-term, while also hearing feedback and answering questions about the future of this facility. I believe with the support of the community and the YMCA, this facility can thrive for generations to come under the leadership of the Metro Parks Department.”
The proposal, which had been scheduled for a vote at the Metro Parks Board on August 1, is for Metro to accept a transfer of the Northwest YMCA property from the Y to Metro in order to establish it as a park and community center in which the Y will continue to collaborate with the city to serve the Bordeaux community. If approved, the Y would convey the property to Metro for a purchase price of $10 with up to $750,000 in reimbursed operating expenses for a transition period over the next year.
Since the YMCA convened the Healthier Communities Team (a multi-stakeholder team assembled to identify ways to maximize the impact of the facility) in April, conversations with several stakeholders in the community have taken place, including discussions between Metro Government and YMCA officials that resulted in a plan to, over time, transform the facility into a community center that could eventually serve as a hub for a broader range of services for residents. The traditional health and wellness services currently available at the facility will not change, but Metro and the Y are hopeful that even more good for the community can be done under the same roof.
By first establishing the facility as a public park and community center, the city hopes to move forward in a collaborative effort to increase the resources multiple partners could potentially offer in and around the facility. There’s 6,000 square feet of unused space currently in the facility. Metro will work with the community to determine the best use of this space for the Bordeaux Community.