Lease agreement could bring YMCA to city-owned Bethel Community Park: 'This was really pivotal'

      EUGENE, Ore. -- The Bethel neighborhood may soon be the new location of a YMCA, thanks to a motion approved Wednesday by the Eugene City Council.

      The unanimous decision approved a lease agreement that would allow the YMCA to build a rec center on the city owned Bethel Community Park location.

      "We've been talking to the city for 10, 11 years, trying to get this thing rolling. And of course it takes a lot of conversations with the community. A lot of things have to come into place, but this was really pivotal," said Julie Grossman, the associate executive director for Eugene's YMCA.

      The YMCA has 5 years to start construction on a project that would cost roughly $5 million dollars.

      Now the ball is in the Y's court to raise the money for the project, pointing to the Bethel Community Park as an expected build site.

      Craig Smith, the recreational services director, said the center would be pivotal to the well-being of the Bethel neighborhood.

      "We've actually known for a long time Bethel had it's big boom in growth in the last 20 years, and that resources haven't maybe kept up with it," said Smith.

      YMCA officials said they also plan to build a public library inside the Bethel YMCA location.