Photo: An artist rendition shows YMCA’s future indoor and outdoor facility at Big Bend Rd. The project is a partnership between the Hillsborough Board of County Commissioners and a joint-use lease agreement with the Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA.
By Tamas Mondovics
Community leaders including county commissioners, local business owners and close to 200 guests gathered last month for the groundbreaking of YMCA’s long anticipated facility in Gibsonton.
The Spurlino Family YMCA at 9650 Old Big Bend Rd. in Gibsonton, a $16.4 million project, is the result of a long process and partnership between the Hillsborough Board of County Commissioners and a joint-use lease agreement with the Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA.
Special dignitaries in attendance included Hillsborough County Commissioners Sandra Murman and Ken Hagan, both major supporters of the Y.
The new facility will be named after its lead donor, the Spurlino Family YMCA at Big Bend Rd. and will include approximately 32,500 sq. ft. of indoor space as well as an outdoor aquatic center, a much-welcomed addition to the growing SouthShore community to enjoy.
Expressing support of the project, Murman emphasized that the new facility will serve the community for years to come.
“I never dreamed that we can have such a great facility here,” Murman said. “What a remarkable and outstanding thing we can do for the residents in South County by investing in this facility.”
Murman added that every dollar put into the community will get much in return.
“We’re going to get healthy living programs for our seniors and adults,” she said. “We’re going to get programs for our children to keep them out of trouble.”
To promote the necessity of the project Y officials said that the new facility will strengthen the South County community in a number of ways including: promoting economic development by providing over 125 jobs, reducing accidental drowning, improving high school graduation rates, helping reduce obesity epidemic in adults and children as well as teaching children life skills through summer and sports camps.
“Seniors will get a sense of home where they can exercise, socialize and celebrate health,” said Y spokesperson Lalita Llerena, who added that addition benefits at all Y facilities includes the strengthening and supporting of cancer survivors and their families, improving the quality of life for residents.
Y officials are confident that the new facility will create a community hub, bringing together diverse groups of people for a common good.
The Spurlino Family YMCA at Big Bend Road’s anticipated completion date is late fall 2018. For more information about the project, please visit the new Y’s Facebook page, which tracks the construction progress with pictures and updates. Also, visit www.tampaymca.org.