The Twin Pike Family YMCA is becoming a real estate agent again.


  The Twin Pike Family YMCA is becoming a real estate agent again.
   To boost the fund drive for an aquatic center, the Louisiana-based facility has agreed to sell a historic downtown building that was donated by a St. Louis area couple.
   Paul and Laverne Lorenzini spent $800,000 upgrading and renovating the site at 313 to 317 Georgia Street, which most recently housed the Old Town Centre on the first floor. A bed-and-breakfast still occupies the second story.
   “We’re pretty excited,” said Y Executive Director Marsha Garrison. “I feel like this is just another confirmation that our communities are behind us. The Y continues to grow.”
   Bids for the 1870s structure will be taken through April 30 and tours for prospective buyers are available. A minimum bid has not been set.
   The building has housed a number of businesses over the years, including P.N. Hirsch and Duran’s Clothing.
   “It has a lot of potential,” Garrison said. “Multiple shops could be put in.”
   Despite the gloomy economy, Garrison said the Y is confident in proceeding with the sale because it’s seen growth in its capital and annual support campaigns.
   “We’re aware of the economic situation,” she said. “We know it will be important to advertise the building to get a fair price for it.”
   Proceeds from the sale will be used as part of the $4 million aquatic center campaign. The drive started last November with an anonymous gift of $1.4 million. Garrison said another $400,000 has been pledged or contributed since then.
   The Y has started its "Pool Founders First 500" program to collect donations. The first 500 people, families or businesses that donate at least $1,000 will receive recognition. Tax-deductible donations can be stretched out over five years.
   A timetable for construction has not been set, but the YMCA board has decided to wait until all funds are in place before starting to build.
   The aquatics center would be part of the Y's facility at 614 Kelly Lane in Louisiana. The Y provides dozens of programs to 1,200 members from Pike County, Mo., and Pike County, Ill.
   The aquatics center is known as "phase three" of the Y's building plan. The first phase was the $1.2 million original construction in 2001. The second phase was a $1.5 million addition that was completed in June 2008.
   The Y is familiar with real estate transactions.
   In 1999, the facility sold the two-story historical Luce-Dyer property on Third Street in Louisiana after it was donated by the Merton and Edith Carlson family. Proceeds helped with initial construction of the Y.
   More information and tours are available by calling (573) 754-4497.