ST. CLOUD -- The St. Cloud Y has been open since May of 2017. Since the beginning, there has been talk of a phase two that would create an outdoor aquatic center.

Executive Director Greg Gack says that's still the plan. He says they were in the planning process before the pandemic began, but COVID-19 forced them to put the idea on the shelf for a while.

I can share that we've taken that work and we're bringing it off the shelf and reevaluating it and looking at what our next steps are.  This summer I was out looking at a couple of different water parks.  We're definitely putting the action plans together to move this project forward.  We hope to have something more public that we can start talking about in 2022.

He says moving forward they know they want an outdoor facility that will draw people from beyond just St. Cloud.

I liken it to what we did with the current Y.  We had the opportunity of doing something or doing something great, and our community chose to invest in something great.  That's what we want to put together for the outdoor water park.  Our vision is that this will be a regional draw and something the community can be proud of.

The city of St. Cloud owns the building and the land and the Y operates it. Gack says right now the city doesn't have any money allocated to help build an aquatic center.

Gack says the Y had about 18,000 members in March of 2019. They are down about 35 percent since then. There is a membership promotion going on right now to try to bring those numbers back up again.

He says all Y activities are in full swing.

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Meanwhile, the city of St. Joseph and the Y have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding for a similar partnership.  Gack says they are still in the early planning stages with no timeline yet, but he hopes to be moving on that project in the next year or two.

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