YMCA Expansions Include New Downtown Building

By: Lily Wu - Email
By: Lily Wu - Email

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Monday, March 28, 2011

For many, it's bittersweet seeing the first wall coming down and the first visual of what the Central YMCA will look like.

"For a lot of folks it's kind of like an old shoe. Lots of people have gone through these doors and have fond memories of it. We're excited about this new facility," said Dennis Shoenebeck, Greater Wichita YMCA, general executive.

Rendering for the new facility show a new LEED certified drawing of the Central YMCA. The branch currently serves 15,000 people and with the expansion they expect to double that number.

"The YMCA already has about 100 million in assets here that are really owned by the community so this is going to be a tremendous community resource," said Steve Clark, YMCA fundraising campaign chair.

A $1.4 million challenge gift was given to the YMCA. They plan to raise $40 million for six new projects in the community, with the major focus on the Central Branch. Volunteers see the expansion as a much needed improvement for the families around the area.

"A lot of the downtown area needs are not really met for the children in the area. Having it so close so they can walk or take the bus is going to be so convenient," said Karen Osbourne, YMCA volunteer.

The capital campaign also includes adding a new indoors sport complex on the east side, two outdoors sports complexes, expanding the Northwest branch, and furthering the Camp Hyde summer day camp.

About two million dollars is still needed before they can continue moving forward with the six projects.

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