Kensington/Talmadge Group Approves YMCA for City Heights

Plans for the construction of a new Copley-Price YMCA were unanimously approved last week by the Kensington/Talmadge Community Planning Group.

The YMCA will be built on the old Pearson Ford dealership property at Fairmount Avenue and El Cajon Boulevard. Robert Price of Price Charities donated the 3.5-acre site to the Copley YMCA. The old Copley YMCA in City Heights’ Park de la Cruz faced costly remodeling.

Construction of the almost $27 million facility will begin in spring 2013 and be completed in 2014. Given the structure’s high-profile urban setting, architects aim to achieve the Green Building Council’s Platinum Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design designation.

YMCA membership is projected to grow to 18,000, almost double that of the old site. Among the activities and attractions will be a soccer field, an aquatic complex, a fitness center, computer room, a demo kitchen, and childcare service. A three-story onsite parking garage will be available, although the goal is to encourage local residents to walk or bike there.

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Since when did the YMCA Values=! Equipment Purchases, Kick-Backs and Conflicts of Interest? There was an article in the UT about the YMCA CEO’s salary, and it was one of the most viewed and written about according to the UT, so maybe this will interest you.

That article brings to light another YMCA concern by myself and many members who have used the Mission Valley YMCA for years. The Mission Valley Location just dealt with major renovations in the high hundreds of thousands of dollars. This included a major overhaul of all the various vendors of equipment to essentially just PRECOR equipment. 1. Never once were surveys done to the members of what equipment they would want to keep of the existing equipment, etc. 2. When many members such as myself griped about the new equipment line to the part-time staff on the floor of the workout areas, the feedback was consistently the same, that the exec gets a financial kickback from the equipment purchases as her partner is the head rep of the equipment company. 3. There was no fair bidding process, no choices, the staff were informed this was the equipment coming in, regardless of their suggestions as front line employees side by side assisting members like me daily, of what members use and need. 4. When I inquired if the other equiplines were going to at least be kept at the other locations, the staff informed me the equipment at Toby had already been sold. 5. If this PRECORvendor (the exec’s partner) is also getting a commission for selling the existing used equipment and commission off of that, as well as the new equipment, that in itself is a major conflict. Sales and buying both for commission should not be tied together by the same vendor. 6. OtherY’sare also installing this line,II realized as I looked to switch my membership location. how far does this conflict reach within the organization? Is anyone else getting paid off? Could your article about the CEO be leaving out this commission if he also benefits? Is it not a major conflict of interest if an executive director at Mission Valley of one location is getting potentially massive commission personally through her relationship by equip sales and purchases? I have watched many members quit around me who used the Y for years and dislike the now non-variety in equipment. Members like me who get drafted dues monthly, and yet were never surveyed or involved in facility overhauls. The part time staff seem disgusted by the conflict of interest as well, and frustrated that this type of politics is acceptable in a YMCA. (I heard 6 figures) Commissions for projects this big are huge, if this is personally benefitting an exec financially, this is a major travesty in a non-profit that should have oversight, and fair processes. Please look into it...this is a hub for the community that has really been impacted by many poor decisions in the last year.

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