The city of Delaware and the YMCA are considering a proposal to utilize the Mingo Park’s indoor gym space for its Before and After care and summers programs.
The proposal will be discussed at Delaware Parks and Recreation Advisory Board Tuesday evening. The program currently operates in the Biby Room and is licensed to serve 24 students.
But to increase the program’s capacity of participants the YMCA would need additional space inside the building at Mingo.
“Therefore, we have requested to license the gym space,” said Mandy Bealer, YMCA associate executive director at the Liberty Township YMCA, in an email to Jackie Walker, assistant city manager.
“Our program utilizes the grassy area for large group games and the current indoor space is setup for games, crafts and active play,” Bealer said.
With the large number, participants would be split into two groups between the two areas, she said. The gym space would be used during inclement weather for large group games. There would be no time needed to set up or items left in the area while staff were not actively in the space.
Walker said she is thrilled these programs are so popular.
“This is one of the reasons why the city chose to enter into a contract agreement with the Y,” she said. “I consider this a growing pain issue and may need to be tweaked as time goes along.”
She said the gym should only be used for inclement weather with everything cleaned up afterward because residents paid for the gym as a place of free and open recreation.
“The more programs that are scheduled in that space, the less the gym is available to the public. We all need to monitor this closely,” she said.
Ted Miller, the city’s parks and natural resources director, agreed.
YMCA and city staff would also need to coordinate maintenance work around planned activities, he added.
“With the additional campers I would ask that you be respectful of the public park and not ‘takeover’ any amenities,” Miller said. “… Please make sure that there are adequate camp chaperones to effectively monitor activities and they are diligently adhering to their duties.”
In other business, the board:
• Will review the top 10 recommendations identified from the proposed bike plan.
• Consider the recommendation of the Hidden Valley Golf Course Strategic Plan for Sustainability.
• Discuss a partnership with United Way of Delaware County on the creation of eight “Born Learning Trails” in conjunction with the Women’s Leadership Network. The trail would be located at mutually identified locations such as a park. The trail includes 10 activity stations for families with young children to build their pre-literacy and problem-solving skills. The city would sponsor the trails at $2,000 with the Women’s Leadership Network contributing $1,000.
The board will meet at City Hall, 1 S. Sandusky St., 7 p.m. in council chambers.
Gazette reporter Brandon Klein can be reached by email or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.