To Mr. Briggs, YMCA Executive Director:

I am writing on behalf of the Pack Family. I grew up on 20th Street, a couple blocks from the YMCA & still return to town frequently as both my elderly parents still reside as homeowners in Columbus & have made use of the YMCA as members.

In reading The Telegram article about the new YMCA, I believe you are making a mistake to consider selling the current location.

I think your business venture would be more viable & better for the community on the whole if you had two locations. I agree that the current location is inadequate on weight & cardio room space, but it is an impressive facility when it comes to its ball courts, something that rivals all other YMCAs in the entire state, including even Omaha.

As you already know, Lincoln and Omaha have multiple YMCA locations. If the hospital is footing most of the bill for the other YMCA location up North, why not keep both locations open? You would get the best of both worlds. The potential profit to be reaped by selling the current YMCA should not be the sole motive for decision making.

As you've said to The Telegram, it's not about you, the hospital, or the board -- it's about the community. And I think it's hard to argue against having two locations to continue to make the YMCA accessible for everyone, not just the wealthy who live in the newer subdivisions in the North. The current location is more conveniently located in the middle of town. So, why not make things extra convenient with two locations, everyone would win!

At the very least, I would encourage you to get feedback from the community in the form of some kind of survey on your website and or through mailings to the whole community, not just current members--the community on the whole are all part of a pool of potential future members too.

I would encourage you to consider what I've written & pass this letter along in full to the YMCA board as official communication to them as they go through the decision making process on how to proceed.

K. Gerald Pack

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