SIKESTON -- It's official. The YMCA of Southeast Missouri owns and operates the entire block where its facility sits. The Sikeston R-6 Board of Education voted in a closed session Jan. 8 to sell its Moore Street property to the YMCA of Southeast Missouri. On Wednesday the school district and community facility closed the deal, which included the sale of 2.67 acres for $25,000. YMCA of Southeast Missouri Executive Director Jeff Partridge said he and the YMCA Board of Directors were very pleased to purchase the property that binds Taylor and Moore streets on the north by Hunter Avenue. "We wanted to secure that property so the Y now owns the entire block," said Partridge, who has worked in his position since the local YMCA was established in 1995. As part of the purchase, the school district required that the buyer must tear down the Bailey school building that sits on the property within in a year's time, Partridge said. A date for that hasn't been set, he added.
The 7-plus acre block is formed by Tanner Street, Moore Avenue, Taylor Avenue and Hunter Avenue. "It's a huge deal for the community, having the YMCA control and own the entire block," Sikeston R-6 Superintendent Steve Borgsmiller said. At one time the entire block housed several Sikeston R-6 buildings including the second Sikeston high school and middle school gymnasium. Also a football stadium once stood on the site. "Somewhere along the way, the city of Sikeston came into possession of that (front part of the property) in a swap with the school system," Borgsmiller recalled. In 1996, the YMCA Board purchased land from the city of Sikeston for the development of a YMCA facility, which included renovating the former middle school gym and contracting additional program space.
For many years, the Bailey School building served as a Parents as Teachers site for the R-6 school district, and most recently it housed the Sikeston R-6 alternative school, New Horizons.
"I think it's a perfect marriage for the YMCA and its activities. It gives them additional ground for whatever they choose to use it for," Borgsmiller said. Now the YMCA can be a center piece for the community, Borgsmiller said. Work is already under way for a 52,000-square-foot expansion of the current YMCA facility and will include an indoor pool facility, walking track, changing rooms and other amenities. The new facility will be named in memory of David M. Barton, whose widow June Barton donated $2 million to the project in his honor.
"As far as definite plans for that property, we have no plans at this point. The property was not included in our current building project," Partridge said. However, YMCA board members are brainstorming about the future use of the land. "We all have ideas," Partridge said. "It's just outdoor space right now."