"A long time ago," Duchon muses, "I approached the then-city manager of Ypsilanti, Ed Koryzno, when the Water Street project first started, and suggested building a Y on the site. But he said they were seeking tax-generating operations, and said no." So the Y did what it could in the schools, city parks, and the senior center.
Duchon says there are now many models nationally in which Ys partner with cities, counties, hospitals, and other nonprofits that own recreation buildings but don't have the resources to operate them. Earlier this fall, she joined Marans, Tetens, Borum, Gillotti, and others to visit recreation centers throughout southern Michigan, including a Y-city partnership in Southgate. Unlike the Meri Lou Murray Recreation Center on Washtenaw, which the WCPARC owns and operates, the proposed east-county rec center might be membership-based: only members could use the building, though the Y would provide scholarships to families that can't afford to pay.
Borum and an interdisciplinary architecture and urban planning team have developed concepts for two possible site plans. Both incorporate a new section of the county's border-to-border trail along the river, but one uses a standard "Jeffersonian" city grid pattern, while the other uses the French river pattern of long narrow lots, each with river access. They have also developed two concepts for the rec building itself. One, nicknamed "canopy," reflects the influence of the tree canopy in Ypsilanti; the other is a more urban "storefront," with only a narrow face close to the street.