Masonic Cornerstone Ceremony Held for New YMCA Aquatic Center
This past weekend, the Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of Wyoming, including member Sen. Mike Enzi, dedicated a cornerstone for the new Sheridan County YMCA Community Aquatic Center, currently under construction.
“The ceremony you are about to witness, or one comparable to it, may be traced to the operative craftsmen of the middle ages who erected the noble structures and cathedrals of Europe and the British Isles,” Grand Historian Mark Young told the crowd gathered in the gymnasium. “Laying of cornerstones with special ceremonies appears to be as old as the art of building.”
Young said the most historic Masonic cornerstone ceremony at a public structure occurred on Sep. 18, 1793, when George Washington laid the cornerstone for the capital building of the United States of America.
Next at the ceremony, under the direction of Tyler Rogers, the Sheridan County Cadets performed percussion selections and the Y Kids sang in celebration.
Featured speakers included YMCA Board President Jacob Haseman, YMCA Executive Director Elisabeth Cassiday, and Sen. Mike Enzi.
Haseman recognized Tim Belton of Malone Belton Abel, architects for new aquatic center, and Fletcher Construction, contractor for the project.
Cassiday explained that the facility will make the YMCA more attractive to families with children of all ages.
“We want to make sure we’re here for birthday parties,” she said, “and as kids grow into teens, that there is still something exciting about the Y, with a climbing wall that you can fall into the deep pool, or the drop-slide, where you’re going to have to rearrange your swimsuit before you come back up.”
Cassiday also highlighted the zero-entry pool, which will allow swimmers to start leaning at the depth they are comfortable with, and more family friendly locker rooms.
Additionally, Cassiday said she is looking forward to using the space left behind when the original pools are decommissioned.
“That gives us the potential to grow programs like childcare and afterschool,” she said, “or health and wellbeing, to continue to expand with our community.”
Cassiday described some of the items to be placed in a time capsule behind the cornerstone, such as photos of the YMCA throughout different phases of construction and remodeling, and pictures of Sheridan as it looks today. She said they made sure to include a photo of a Redbox DVD vending machine.
“I think that might be really amusing in 100 years,” Cassiday added.
Enzi offered congratulations to the community and the YMCA on what will be a “phenomenal facility.” The senator and his wife both grew up in Sheridan and he enjoys seeing investment in local youth and their future.
“I want to thank everyone for being here for this historic moment,” Enzi said.
Wyoming Grand Master Kenneth Badget led the cornerstone dedication ceremony, which was followed by tours of the construction site.