Photo by YMCA of Greater William
Cedar Park City Council finalized a deal Sept. 13 to acquire land from the City of Austin so YMCA Twin Lakes can expand its camping operation.
The agreement shifts land from Austin's extraterritorial jurisdiction to Cedar Park, which annexed the property and rezoned it for park use. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, which technically owns the land, shifted control of the property to Williamson County, which in turn leases the land to YMCA.
The City of Cedar Park will now service the entire YMCA property with utilities, linking up 10 new cabins and a repurposed dining hall for overnight visitors. The south portion of the property was previously under Austin’s jurisdiction.
The overnight camping grounds will be available for organizations and companies, but it is being built primarily to accommodate children who are too old for day camp services, Williamson County YMCA CEO Jeff Andresen said in August.
The project will be done in multiple phases, Andresen said, starting with six cabins and the dining hall. The campsite will help address demand, he said.
“We did a survey about five years ago in the Cedar Park-Northwest Austin area, and we found out there was an absolute high interest because folks are having to take their kids quite a way out [to camps],” Andresen said. “There were concerns if parents ever need to get to the kid [in an emergency] because that takes time.”
The Y is raising money for the $2 million project, he said, with at least half the money collected as of mid-August.
The organization is also spending $4 million toward renovations at the nearby branch office, which is expanding to include a new indoor pool, teen center and aerobics area. Construction started in March, Andresen said, and should be complete by the end of the year.
St. David’s HealthCare has partnered with YMCA to help build a warm-water therapy pool in the new indoor venue, giving the Twin Lakes branch three pools total, Andresen said.
There will also be a new cardio theater, which plays movies in a dimly lit workout room that features multiple low-impact exercise machines.