Officials at the Ozarks Regional YMCA, which operates seven branches in southern Missouri, are protesting the local park board’s plans to build a new community center in close proximity to a Y.

The county-run Dan Kinney Family Center will feature fitness facilities and group exercise studios, and an aquatics center is planned for a later phase of development. Springfield-Greene County Parks and Recreation intends to build the facility on the grounds of a newly opened county park that is about 5 miles from the Pat Jones YMCA in Springfield, MO.

The CEO of Ozarks Regional YMCA, Brad Toft, told the Springfield News-Leader that the new facility is a waste of taxpayer dollars because it will duplicate the services of the nearby Y.

Jodie Adams, parks director for Springfield-Greene County Parks and Recreation, said that the area’s growing population can support both centers and that the park board is carrying out plans approved by voters in 2006.

Y officials argue that the 2006 park sales tax proposal only listed the Dan Kinney Park project and did not include the family fitness and aquatics facility.

Construction of the new center is scheduled to commence in July.