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Premiere YMCA Could Be Coming to Highland

Town of Highland
Town of Highland

HIGHLAND/WICKER PARK - YMCA officials are considering building premiere facility in the Wicker Park area of Highland.  

It would be similar in "size and scale" to Crown Point's 120,000 square foot location that was renovated and unveiled last year.

Jay Buckmaster, CEO of Crossroads YMCA, told the "Times" the organization is exploring a $35 million project with stakeholders, including officials with the town of Highland and North Township for a "new regional YMCA."

YMCA officials say the facility would complement other nearby facilities in Hammond, Whiting and Griffith, but not everyone agrees including Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott, who is concerned about the impact the Highland facility would have on the Hammond location.

Highland Town Council member Mark Herak is also concerned that the YMCA project could make Highland's Lincoln Center nearly obsolete as over half of its revenue stems from user fees, not property taxes.
North Township Trustee Frank Mrvan is reportedly driving the project.

Mrvan recently secured the Democratic nomination over McDermott to succeed Indiana Congressman Pete Visclosky.  Mrvan says the proposed YMCA is a private investment by the Dean and Barbara White Foundation and will be no expense to the taxpayers.