Southwest Wake News

West Cary church plans to build YMCA

The next addition to Crosspointe Church in west Cary will be 130,000 square feet and cost the church about $25 million.

The new building will have a coffee shop, two pools, a track, a gym and space for various other activities.

But it won’t bear the Crosspointe name, and that’s just how church leaders want it.

To help meet the needs of the west Cary community, Crosspointe Church is designing and funding a YMCA facility on its 38-acre campus on Carpenter Fire Station Road. They call it “The Why Project.”

Crosspointe plans to use the building Sunday nights and mornings, when the YMCA is closed. The facility will otherwise operate as a standard YMCA.

The church and the YMCA hope to begin construction next spring and open the facility by January 2017.

“We don’t want people to think of this as Crosspointe’s YMCA. It’s the community’s YMCA. We’re just building it,” said Jonathan Bow, Crosspointe’s lead pastor.

The YMCA hoped to build in west Cary at some point, said Jennifer Nelson, a spokeswoman for YMCA of the Triangle. But it would have taken several years for the nonprofit to acquire land, zone it properly, raise funds and build it without Crosspointe’s help, she said.

Crosspointe Church is financing the project and is asking the community and church members to help raise $7 million. So far, community members have donated or pledged $4.3 million, according to the church.

The partnership is one of a kind for the nonprofit, she said. The YMCA often rents its facilities out to church and community groups, but it’s rare the dynamic works the other way around.

Once it’s complete, the YMCA will lease the space from the church and employ nearly 200 people, Nelson said.

“What’s so unique is we have the same goal in mind,” she said of the YMCA and Crosspointe. “We both want to help teens and kids.”

Benefiting the community

Crosspointe is an independent, non-denominational church that’s grown to about 2,200 regular Sunday service attendees since it was founded by three families in 1997, Bow said.

The church has been involved in missions to Haiti and Kenya and is heavily involved with the Durham Rescue Mission, a faith-based organization that provides shelter, food and training for the needy.

Crosspointe hoped to add onto its current 34,500-square-foot facility in a way that would benefit the community, Bow said, and originally had much smaller expansion plans. Church leaders tore up initial, in-house plans after meeting with YMCA officials and learning that the two organizations could help each other, he said.

The YMCA would provide better recreational opportunities for thousands of local teens and kids, who Bow said are likely bored with the options in that part of town. Home construction is outpacing amenity construction, Bow said. He often sees teens hanging out in parking lots of schools and shopping centers with nothing to do.

Bow likened his church’s investment in the YMCA to churches that used to fund and help build hospitals in their communities.

“Every church should ask itself, ‘What are the needs of our community, and how can we meet them?’ ” he said.

The church and YMCA also will widen Carpenter Fire Station Road and N.C. 55 as part of the project. Cary Town Council members approved Crosspointe’s rezoning request at a meeting last month, where they praised the church for initiating a “remarkable” project.

“I just look at this as the most innovative and exciting collaborative effort we have seen,” said Councilwoman Jennifer Robinson.