ST. CLOUD - A plan to build an aquatic center in St. Cloud is one step closer to becoming a reality.  The St. Cloud Area YMCA Board of Directors today (Wednesday) approved plans to build a $20 million facility.

They have also identified Whitney Park as the preferred site.

Executive Director Greg Gack says, before it can become a reality, they will have to do some fundraising.

The new facility is expected to include a waterpark designed for swim lessons, family and competitive swimming, and therapy and water fitness.  Some other features of the facility include a climbing wall, multiple gyms, spaces for fitness, family and community rooms.

Gack says the plan would be for them to vacate and sell their current facility, once the new center opens.

The city of St. Cloud is initiating a public process for the use of the Whitney Park site.  That process begins tomorrow (Thursday) when the city presents the plan to the Whitney Center Advisory Board.  About $10 million in half-cent sales tax dollars would help pay for the city's portion of the project.

The map below shows where the aquatic center could potentially sit on the Whitney site in red.  The yellow boxes around it represent possible parking spaces.  That space is not being utilized right now.  St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis says the exact location and specifics could change over time.  He says he's hoping the city can come to an agreement with the Y by the end of the year.

Whitney Map, City of St. Cloud