Local News

Parks department loses three programs to new YMCA

The Shelbyville Parks and Recreation Department has lost three programs to the newly-opened YMCA in Shelbyville.

Parks department director Karen Martin informed the parks board Wednesday that Karate, Zumba and Water Aerobics are no longer offered by the city entity.

“I want to be a good partner with the YMCA. I worked at a ‘Y’ for 10 years,” said Martin after the board meeting. “I think we can be good partners. I don’t think they meant to intentionally take those programs. I’m not upset. I know those are programs we have lost. They were small programs to us. I’m sure there are other programs we can put in to replace those.”

Both Karate and Zumba were run by outside instructors utilizing parks department space. Water Aerobics was held at Shelbyville High School’s swimming pool.

“Water Aerobics was the only one we did in house but we had to do it at the high school, so we had to pay to utilize the facility,” said Martin.

Through years of master planning, a facility like a YMCA was consistently asked for by community members. That became a reality Monday when a new YMCA attached to the Major Health Partners’ Wellness Center officially opened its doors.

“Even when we did our master plans, a community facility kept coming up, whether it was for the parks department or someone else,” said Martin. “We can’t do it all. I think (having the YMCA) just moves our community forward that much more. I think it’s a win-win for everyone, if we look at it that way.”



Summer camp programs are wrapping up and the Meridian Park Family Aquatic Center, which did not open in the summer of 2020 due to the pandemic, has three weekends left to be open in 2021.

Martin beamed when asked about the return of the summer camp program, also a COVID-19 casualty in 2020, and the community use of the aquatic center.

“It’s been wonderful,” she said. “Just the number of people utilizing the pool and the number of people wanting to be in our camps and our programs, and the people utilizing the parks and shelters, it seems like it grew from before COVID because people are wanting to get out and enjoy things, like people on the trails.

“It’s been so nice to see people be able to enjoy themselves and relieve some stress. It’s been great to see the smiles. That’s what we’re all about – family togetherness, the smiles and giving people the opportunities to do things they want to do.”

In other business, the board was informed it was time to look at new projects associated with Recreational Impact Fees. Each new housing unit built in Shelbyville must pay an impact fee – currently approximately $1,020 – to assist with maintaining and expanding parks.

With several new housing additions either under construction or nearing the construction phase, the impact fee could generate as much as $500,000 over the next several years.

The parks department must have identified needs listed in order to utilize the impact fees, according to Martin.

Also, the berm is finished at Blue River Memorial Park and needs to be seeded with grass to finish it up. The berm was built with the goal of adding an amphitheater to the park in the future.

There are currently no design plans in place for an amphitheater, confirmed parks board president Gary Nolley.