Building suspended

Mountain Home Family YMCA Groundbreaking Ceramony CANCELLED


November 4, 2015


5.1 Million Dollar Building Cancelled


The 5.1 Million dollar unaffordable building that did not include a pool and that would have taken all of the tax dollars for years to come has been cancelled.

The building was designed as a $5.1 million building. When put out to bid the low bid came back at over $4.9 million dollars. With only $3.7 million dollars in the bank the previous board elected to enter, "value engineering". That process brought the price of the building to $4.2 million dollars. Items removed from the building during "value engineering" included the landscaping, a mandatory parking lot, ceiling fans, basketball hoops, lockers, window blinds, and the list goes on.

On this site you can still see where the previous board said they would not put the building out for bid or build until they had collected $850k in donations from the community and had all the money in the bank.


From this website in June -



The capital costs of the project are expected to be approximately $5.1 million.  By the time construction is completed, the Recreation District will be able to cover about $4.25 million of the total costs, which includes HUD grant monies that must be used by September of 2015 and 2016.  Approximately $850,000 will be raised from the community.



 The building design is finished and the construction documents were submitted to the city in March 2015. The city reviewed the construction documents and made their changes and returned them to LCA Architects at the end of May 2015. LCA will finalize the documents and they will be ready to go out to bid in mid-July 2015. However, the project will not go out to bid until 100% of the $850,000 campaign goal has been pledged. Once the campaign goal is reached the project will go to bid and construction will begin."


The feasibility study conducted in 2012 concluded that if community concerns were addressed, then raising $850,000 was possible.  If these funds are not raised, the community will have to wait until the Recreation District has collected enough money to fund the project."


3.7 million is what was in the bank. In order to say that the WECRD had all the money, ($550k short) the previous board had to include all of 2016's taxes as well as part of 2017's taxes. That would've been for an empty building, and only IF the construction costs did not rise at all. The previous board had already approved $16k in change orders.

After using part of 2017's taxes to pay off the building the process of trying to put the $700k that was "value engineered" out of the building, back in, would have to had started. The Capital Campaign that had been going on since November of 2014, (the WECRD has taken donations for over 10 years), had raised a total of $40k with "pledges" for $220k, still a shortfall of another $500k and over another year down the road.

The 20 acres purchased for $500k over 10 years ago has a roughly 2 acre parcel up front that can be built on and is in the floodplain. Behind that 2 acre parcel is approximately 8 acres of floodway that cannot be built on. To get to the back 10 acres of this property will be very expensive. With only two acres that can be used the opportunity to expand is severely limited.


Art Nelson and Judy Mayne campaigned on cancelling that building that was designed to be a YMCA. That is what they did.


It's time to stop looking backwards because that's not where we're going. Over the next weeks we'll be updating the website and sharing what we believe over 60% of the citizens elected us to do. First and foremost was to cancel the building. Next is to look at affordable options that don't take every last penny that the WECRD has, and will have, over the next 2 to 3 years. Cancelling the building was as much about preserving the dollars we have left as it was about getting as much as we can for those dollars. We want to look at any available options already existing here in town. We want to fund programs and projects in the community. If it ends up that we can't afford the building we think we have to have then we can save for it, but not to the exclusion of providing recreation. The WECRD has collected over 5 million dollars from our community and over the 15 year life of the WECRD it has funded a little over $100k.

I'm personally tired of the adult problems affecting the kids. We can argue and discuss and survey all we want but some of the absolute recreational needs, of not only the kids, but the other non-profits and adult recreational activities, should be funded by this recreation district. Small grants and funding can go a very long way for the organizations that struggle along without help, or thanks, and are getting it done on a day-to-day basis. We need to assist those programs and help them out.




Revised July 7, 2015           Western Elmore County Recreation District Timeline



  • Blue Ribbon Committee was established to study the community’s recreational wants and needs.
  • In 2000, the ballot measure to form the Western Elmore County Recreation District is passed.
  • In 2001, Governor Dirk Kempthorne appointed WECRD Directors.
  • In 2003, WECRD selected a facility site and obtained: survey, Level 1 EPA review, FEMA review, Elmore County Planning and Zoning review, Mountain Home “Area of Impact” zoning review.


  • WECRD purchased 20 acres of land.
  • WECRD directors and community members participated in a Ray and Joan Kroc Community Center competition. WECRD placed second and Coeur d’Alene was awarded the grant money.
  • In 2005 the Recreation Foundation of Elmore County was formed as the capital campaign entity for the recreation center.


  • WECRD is awarded a $294,000 HUD grant. Expires September 15, 2015


  • Recreation Foundation of Elmore County received a $10,000 family donation for construction of the recreation center and the WECRD received a $10,000 trust fund donation.
  • Environmental Assessment (EA) completed on WECRD Property as a requirement to receive HUD grants.
  • Conditional letter of Map Revision Based on Fill (CLOMR-F) received from FEMA for construction of the recreation center.
  • WECRD is awarded a $285,000 HUD grant. Expires September 15, 2016.
  • WECRD contracted with the YMCA in September to provide guidance and leadership to a community ownership development process.
  • YMCA and WECRD established Community Leadership Development Committee (CLDC) to mark the first step in collaboration with the YMCA and to govern the process and ensure that the goals of inclusion, transparency and effectiveness are met. 


  • In May 2010, the Mountain Home Community Leadership Development Committee commissioned Strategic Research Associates to conduct a telephone survey of 400 heads-of-household currently living in Mountain Home, Idaho. The survey’s primary objective was to explore the degree of interest in a new non-profit community recreation center proposed to be built in Mountain Home. Other objectives included measuring the desirability of potential program and facility options that could be included in a new facility and exploring potential demand for different types of memberships (to allow approximate estimation of expected revenues).
  1. oThree options were proposed:
  2. oConclusions:
  3. oFinal Decision:
      • Option One: The facility would include strength and cardiovascular center, indoor track, aerobic rooms, nursery, meeting space, a snack bar, and locker rooms. It would also have a Youth Activity Center and a Teen Center.
      • Option Two: All option one amenities would be available and the facility would add a regulation-sized gymnasium with six basketball hoops and the ability to accommodate two volleyball courts.
      • Option Three: All amenities from options one and two would be available and the facility would add an aquatics center with a 25 yard lap pool, a deep water section for classes and therapy, and a water slide and splash area for younger children and non-swimmers.
      • Build only what the community can afford without long term debt.
      • Build only what can be self-sustained or sustained with reasonable and known sources of subsidy.
  • §Combine options one and two initially
  • §Leave possibility to construct option 3 later
  • §Combine WECRD savings with capital campaign to complete project
  • David Freer Memorial Let’s Play grant was established.
  • City Planning & Zoning Commission annexed WECRD property into city of Mountain Home.
  • HUD completes review of EA and CLOMR-F and authorized use of HUD funds for design & construction of recreations center on WECRD property.


  • CLDC completed its task for WECRD.
  • YMCA hired by WECRD to continue consultation for next steps.


  • Initial cost estimates for option one and option two completed.
  • Feasibility Study:
    • Conducted During May 2012
      • The purpose of this study was to determine the support for a fundraising campaign for the project. Specifically, this study sought to determine if a $600,000 campaign goal was realistic and achievable; to identify potential leadership and major gift donors for the campaign. Additional study objectives included testing the effectiveness and marketability of the proposed case for support and identifying potential obstacles (real or perceived) that may hinder a potential campaign.
      • Results of feasibility study: capital campaign has high likelihood of success in the range of $555,750 –$1,701,600 million.





  • YMCA hired Development Coordinator (April)
  • Mountain Home Construction Task Force Formed: August 2013
    • Reviewed 14 architect qualification proposals
    • Selected top 4 architect firms
    • Interviewed and rank order top 4 firms
    • Negotiated with top firm LCA


  • WECRD hires LCA Architect Firm (March)
  • YMCA Teen Advisory Council created (March)
  • New board established for the Recreation Foundation of Elmore County (May)
  • WECRD kicks off their $850,000 Capital with announcement of Co-Chairs Mark Hiddleston and Todd McCurry (Nov)
  • LCA Design Development phase complete (Dec)


  • Capital Campaign Committee Formed (Jan)
  • LCA Construction Documents Complete (March)
  • Capital Campaign Committee and directors announced their group pledge as a matching gift of leadership level gifts up to $215,000.
  • City of Mountain Home approves LCA Construction Documents (June  9, 2015)






Parent Category: WECRD General
Category: About Us

What is a Recreation District?

As mandated by Idaho Code, Chapter 43, a recreation district is a taxing district, separate from the city or county. A recreation district’s sole concern is with recreation within its boundaries.

“Providing adequate recreation facilities for public use is hereby declared to be a public benefit, use and purpose which enhances the value and quality of life and which materially assists in correcting or eliminating many social ills such as delinquency, crime, excessive use of alcohol, drug abuse and discrimination.”

A Recreation District will consist of a governing board of Directors which are elected or appointed for limited terms.