YM/YWCA eyes Langford location
Facility similar to downtown branch proposed for Westhills development Times Colonist August 19, 2010
The YMCA-YWCA is looking at opening a new facility in Langford as part of the sprawling Westhills development that covers 209 hectares from Langford Lake to Sooke Road.
“What we’re looking at is a partnership with Westhills Development and the City of Langford to develop a facility that would have a pool and daycare,” said Jennie Edgecombe, CEO of the YMCA-YWCA of Greater Victoria.
There would be space for youth and children’s programs, as well, said Edgecombe. The project is in the very early stages but the size of the facility would be similar to the Y’s downtown location, she said. The next step is for the Y to develop a memorandum of understanding with Westhills and Langford. The completion of a facility is several years away and its scale depends on funding and partnership agreements, said Edgecombe. The Y is now looking at expansion to meet the needs of the growing population on the West Shore. “We’ve seen there is a need for programs in the West Shore,” Edgecombe said.
She wouldn’t speculate on the capacity for memberships at this point. The location will allow programs where children can be picked up and taken to Camp Thunderbird near Sooke.
“There’s a lot of opportunity for that sort of thing,” Edgecombe said. Langford administrator Jim Bowden said there’s a great need for the Y to become established on the West Shore, and calls the partnership “fantastic. It would be a good marriage.” Langford is family-oriented and the Y would be “a real natural fit.”
The municipality is on board to help with the capital costs and try to get grant funding from various sources to get the project built. The Y would be the operator of the facility, he said. The YMCA closed its West Shore location at Royal Roads in 2003 after membership stalled at about 1,300. The gym lasted only about five years there.