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Rendering of the Watertown Family YMCA’s proposed community center. Submitted photo

WATERTOWN — The city Planning Board on Tuesday approved site plans for an 11,000-square-foot addition for the Watertown Family YMCA’s $18.1 million community center project.

In February, the City Council agreed to sell a small sliver of land that will be used for the community center and aquatics facility in the former call center, 146 Arsenal St. The addition will allow the Y to create an indoor pool and bleachers for 150 people that would not fit within the building’s existing footprint.

Other site improvements include new striped parking and driveways, rerouted and new utilities, sidewalks, stairs, ramps, curbing, lighting, landscaping, signage and site furniture.

A portion of the existing sidewalk will be reconstructed around the new addition to provide access to the building entrance and to the public sidewalk on Arsenal Street.

But the site plan’s approval hinges on removing two of the 109 parking spaces out of safety concerns for pedestrians and for vehicles to safely back up in the parking lot. The site plan now goes to the City Council for a vote on April 19.

The Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency will retain ownership of the call center building, while the Y will have a 30-year lease for the building.

Last fall, the economic development agency obtained a $9 million federal Department of Defense grant for the project on behalf of the Y.

BCA Associates, Watertown, is designing the project. That engineering work will continue until construction begins next summer. Completion of the project is slated for late summer 2022.

The project will include a separate full-size recreational pool, two full-size tennis courts with a running track above and several other amenities.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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