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GRAND RAPIDS TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) -- The YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids presented its proposal for a new facility to the Grand Rapids Township Planning Commission Tuesday night.



The new facility would would be built at the corner of Leonard Street and Crahen Avenue NE, replacing the 'Southeast Y' on Forest Hill Avenue, which is the oldest YMCA in the area.



The 28 acre site was gifted to the organization by the Meijer Foundation. The next step is a public hearing in May.



There is opposition to the new YMCA and much of it has to do with concerns over traffic.



"The problem is in the neighborhood and all the developments around here is traffic, it's the safety of the kids," said Henry Fuhs.



But Ron Nelson, CEO of the YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids says modifications have been made to accommodate residents in the area. "Because it was on a corner, it's flatter and it enabled us to provide an entrance at both Leonard and Crahen. With those two entrances in and of itself, reduces traffic on Leonard by approximately half. The corner there, there will be no added Y traffic because there's no reason for people to go to that corner."



Construction would cost $24 million. The new YMCA will feature universal design, meaning it's accessible to people with disabilities. If the township approves the plan, work would begin this fall with a grand opening scheduled in fall 2014.


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