Alabaster YMCA expansion gets council go-ahead

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

The Alabaster YMCA got the final go-ahead from the Alabaster City Council Dec. 16 to begin building a new youth activities building, an outdoor swimming pool and several new sports fields near its new location off Alabama 119.

During the meeting, the council voted unanimously to rezone about 47 acres from agricultural and community business zones to an institutional zoning to allow the YMCA to expand its facilities.

In early October, YMCA purchased the former Body Shop gym at 117 Plaza Circle for the organization’s Alabaster Family Branch location. Currently, the YMCA’s childcare and youth programs are still housed in the old Alabaster YMCA building near the former Siluria mill.

Once the organization raises enough money through its capital campaign to construct a new youth building and pool near the new Family Branch location, it will take crews about six months to build the facilities, said YMCA Executive Director Lane Vines.

“Our timeline is between six and 12 months,” Vines told the council. “The construction will be about a six-month project.”

Once the outdoor pool and youth activities building is completed, the organization will be able to greatly expand its program offerings, Vines said.

During the meeting, council members praised Vines and other YMCA officials for working to bring a larger facility to Alabaster.

“I grew up with the Y in Montgomery, and I know how important it was to me and my family,” said Ward 3 Councilman Adam Moseley. “I am so thrilled this is finally here.”

In other business, the council:

Voted to allow Mayor David Frings to enter into a contract with RBC Bank to finance additional patrol cars to add to the Alabaster Police Department’s fleet.

“This will allow our police department to increase its fleet of vehicles,” said Ward 2 Councilman Bob Hicks. “I’d like to thank (City Administrator) George (Henry) for arm-wrestling an incredible rate.”

Voted to allow Frings to apply for a grant to purchase a 25-passenger bus for the city’s Senior Center. If the grant is awarded, the city would pay a $10,864 match on a more than $54,000 grant.

“A 25-passenger bus for $10,000 sounds pretty good to me,” Moseley said.