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Published: August 12, 2019 Author: Staff reports

Over the course of the past year, the Muskingum Recreation Center (MRC) Board has evaluated the financial, operational, and governance structure of the MRC to ensure the long-term sustainability of services and the facility to the broader Zanesville community. In addition to engaging community partners, the Board held a public forum in July 2018 to garner community feedback to help identify the best course of action moving forward.

Throughout this period of evaluation, the Licking County Family YMCA (LC-Y) has provided guidance as a partner that operates a nearby community wellness center. While the Muskingum Family YMCA (MF-Y) is a founding partner of the MRC and has been a valuable board member, it does not currently operate a recreation center and lacks the depth of resources to assume operational oversight of the MRC.

“In looking at the integration of the YMCAs, the Licking County Family YMCA truly is a strong professional partner that has the most capacity to oversee daily operations of the MRC,” said Muskingum Family YMCA Board of Trustees President Paul Hill. “Their continued partnership will help ensure sustainability for the MRC as a long-term community fixture.”  

The MRC Board agreed that this strategic alignment creates opportunity and sustainability for the community.

“We have great confidence that the Licking County Family YMCA, which currently operates successful facilities in nearby Newark and Pataskala, can institute effective management practices at the MRC and ensure we have the right team in-place to be successful over the long-term,” said MRC Board member and Ohio University Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration Deborah J. Shaffer. “Through partnership agreement, we have the ability to work collectively to advance our common goal of improving rural and community health in the region while providing opportunity for community engagement.”

The LC-Y mission is in alignment with the MRC to  provide residents and visitors a safe, clean, and well-maintained facility that promotes health, education, and recreation through a network of quality programs, activities, and amenities that strengthen the individual, family, and community, both now and for future generations. This partnership will promote services and amenities that will support the local community and provide for long-term sustainability of the MRC.

“Strengthening our community is the YMCA’s top priority, and everything we do aligns with this commitment,” said Edward Bohren, CEO of the Licking County Family YMCA. “We appreciate the MRC Board for their recognition of our investment in improving the health and well-being of our community,  and we look forward to collaborating with the MRC and integrating with the MF-Y to create more opportunity to help the community reach its full potential.”

More information will be shared in the coming weeks related to implementation and timing of this transition. 

Located on the Ohio University Zanesville/Zane State Campus, the MRC was founded in 2009 through a partnership of Genesis HealthCare System, Muskingum County Community Foundation, Muskingum Family Y and Ohio University. For the MRC to be successful long-term, we believe it is essential to maintain the partnerships with our local hospital system, local university, local community foundation, and local YMCA.