SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A presentation before the Sioux Falls City Council on September 12 outlined a new recommended amendment to the City’s current agreement with the Sioux Falls YMCA.
The amendment would the YMCA expand their role within the city. Currently, the Y has an agreement to provide after-school programs and transportation at six public middle schools in the city.
The new amendment would see the Y oversee open gym on weekends throughout the school year at two elementary schools, with locations to be decided. One will be on the east side of the city, and the other on the west.
This amendment came from a June 2023 resolution instructing the City Parks Department to identity space for weekend indoor recreation and room rental opportunities in the city.
Within the spaces identified were things such as park shelters, golf courses, libraries and more.
The presentation to the council was given by Jackie Nelson, Recreation Manager for the City.
Nelson explained that this was part of a community center transition back to the Sioux Falls School District. After considering options, she said Parks and Rec. began to consider the cost or reopening open gym time.
“Looking at it from an open gym staffing and oversight perspective on weekends and no-school days during the school year, two locations — four-hours a day — the fee would be approximately $85,000 to $90,000,” Nelson said.
Looking through those costs, said Nelson, lead the department to look toward their current partners, and eventually the YMCA.
“As we started to review that current agreement with [the YMCA] preparing for next year, they brought it to our attention that they were just updating their strategic plan,” Nelson said in the presentation. “As a part of updating their strategic plan, they have two focus areas, and one is youth programs — the other is all around leveraging strategic partnerships.”
Nelson says the needs of the YMCA and the city are sync, and proceeded to propose the weekend gym solution.
“What we would be doing is providing them a grant opportunity or some additional funding for them not only to offer that afternoon/after school opportunity at the middle schools, but also be able to leverage their staff and their talents and support their mission and their new strategic plan by offering that weekend open gym,” Nelson said.
The estimate noted by Nelson on this would be an increase of funding from $144,282 in 2023 to $233,000 in 2024.
This is a recommendation, and has not yet been voted on by the council.