By: David M. Higgins II

Leonardtown, MD- The St. Mary’s County YMCA Exploratory Committee is set to meet on Thursday, November 21 and December 18, 2019, at 6 pm to continue discussions on the creation of supporting video, powerpoint presentation, and talking points to be finalized and delivered to County Administrator and Commissioners of St. Mary’s County.

In April 2019, a conference call was held with Commissioner president Guy, Commissioner Hewitt, County Administrator Bridgett, and Robbie Gill, CEO, YMCA of the Chesapeake to coordinate briefings for the NAVY/COUNTY joint meeting April 9.

On May 27, Commissioner Hewitt requested an Action Plan for use in disseminating information and garnering support from various community groups, members and stakeholders.

Commissioner Hewitt and Chris Kaselemis, Director, Economic, and Community Development attended the St. Michaels Family YMCA ribbon cutting for the transition to the Perkins Family YMCA in June.

The County Capital Improvement Plan(CIP) budgets $16, 325.00 for the project, with $11,050.00 coming from bonds over the five-year Capital Plan.

The project would construct a multiple-use YMCA recreation Center. Typical YMCAs have any combination of; gymnasium, fitness center, training rooms, Wi-Fi, locker rooms, restrooms, storage, basketball courts, multi-purpose rooms, meeting rooms, kitchens, offices, and parking. The plan is to have a proposal on the location, facilities and programmatic requirement by 2020; design and engineering by 2022, and construction to begin in 2025.

On Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019, the commissioners appointed the following people to the committee:

  • Catherine Askey, Local Business Leader
  • Capt. John Brabazon, Patuxent River Naval Air Station
  • Mike Brown, Citizen-at-large
  • Ashleigh Dufresne, St. Mary’s County Public Schools
  • Jenna Guzman, St. Mary’s County Health Department
  • Tyrone Harris, St. Mary’s County Government
  • Beverly Johnston, Community Youth Center Campaign
  • Dr. Monika Lee, Business Leader
  • Omonigho Olumese, Commission on Aging
  • John Parlett, Business Leader
  • Donovan Weekley, Youth Advisory Committee
  • Bennett Wilson, Citizen-at-large

The committee was created to learn aboutYMCAprograms and services, investigate the needs of the community, identify possible locations for a facility, talk about potential facility amenities, and gauge fundraising capacity for the purposes of delivering an in-depth report to the commissioners

The following is from the St. Mary’s County Government on the budget and appropriation phases. The CIP will be updated as the plan progresses.

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...