Polk County receives land donation for new YMCA facility

Published 6:40 pm Thursday, March 9, 2023

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COLUMBUS–Polk County will officially have a new YMCA facility in the near future.

In a letter from Michael Baughman, Chairman of the Polk County YMCA Development Committee, it was announced that Polk County has officially received a donation of six acres of land for the new YMCA facility. The land was donated by John Montgomery and Clary Hood and is located at the intersection of Hwy. 74, Hwy. 108 and Fox Mountain Rd. in Columbus.

County officials say the 6.58-acre tract is an ideal location for a YMCA, as all of Polk County would be less than a 25-minute drive from the facility.

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We are very excited about this opportunity to bring a YMCA facility to our community,” County Manager Marche Pittman said. “This donation is a great kickoff for this project. We are extremely grateful to John Montgomery and Clary Hood for this donation. This type of generosity will leave a mark on Polk County. The community support so far has been outstanding.”

Last month, a fundraising feasibility study was conducted, which will help the YMCA Development Committee finalize the project budget. After the facility design is complete, the county will accept bids for the construction, which will further help determine the project budget.



Plans include a six-lane pool, multi-sport gymnasium, indoor walking track and a group exercise studio equipped for activities like yoga and Zumba. (Image courtesy of Polk County government)

A community interest survey in 2022  helped the committee determine the types of programming wanted in the community, as well as the size and type of a new YMCA facility. The YMCA Development Committee now has a comprehensive design for a more than 30,000 square foot facility, which includes a six-lane pool, multi-sport gymnasium, indoor walking track and a group exercise studio equipped for activities like yoga and Zumba.

Plans also include a Community Room for meetings and multipurpose special events and a wellness center with state-of-the-art cardio and strength training equipment.

“I’m ecstatic about this huge first step in bringing a YMCA to Polk County,” said Baughman. “John Montgomery and Clary Hood are to be commended for this significant contribution to our project.

“The most frequent question I receive about this project is, ‘Where will it be?’ Now we know,” Baughman continued. “It will be easily accessible to the entire county, as well as parts of Rutherford and Spartanburg counties. This is truly an idea whose time has come. Please join us in helping make it happen.”

Polk County and the YMCA have had a working relationship for several years. In 2021, the Polk County Commissioners entered into an agreement with the YMCA to run Polk County’s youth sports programming and the Gibson Park Pool. Also, Polk County Schools invited the YMCA to run summer day camps in Polk Central and Tryon Elementary Schools. 

Last year, the YMCA served more than 1,000 kids and families through these programs, providing more than $50,000 in financial assistance to make these programs and services affordable for everyone in the county.

To help support the work that is underway, visit https://www.spartanburgymca.org/donate/now/17300452/20040/.

To get involved as a YMCA volunteer, contact Atticus Fehl at afehl@spartanburgymca.org.

More details about the project will be announced in the coming months.