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Construction underway at YMCA, again

If you were at the YMCA last Tuesday, you heard the hammering overhead, and you may have noticed our building permit on the front door. Yes, construction is underway!
The concrete has been poured, and we now have a floor upstairs in the space that will soon be three classrooms, two rest rooms, two offices and a waiting area.
This week we will be moving our front desk staff to a temporary desk in the center of our lobby. The area above the current desk is going to be open to the second floor, and we are adding a stairway from the lobby upstairs. This part of the plan is hard to picture, but the results should be spectacular!
We plan to expand our fitness and enrichment classes in the three new classrooms upstairs. Some classes we are considering adding to our line-up are: extreme indoor biking, turbo kick boxing, martial arts, boot camp, balance, dance and ballet. We hope to add additional Bible studies and prayer groups, chess lessons, Spanish lessons and creative writing. If you have other ideas for classes, please let us know.
Each of the new classrooms will have aerobic hardwood floors. Two of the classrooms will have windows overlooking the pool, which our swim team parents are sure to enjoy!
Our walking track participants have been wishing for a rest room upstairs, and soon they will have two.
We will have two offices upstairs, with windows onto the track. Our camp and property director, Scott Johnson, has had his desk in the laundry room, and now he’s moving up in the world! Joining him upstairs is Erik Mann, our fitness and program director.
Downstairs we have big plans, too. The Fitness Center is being expanded. We are adding a stretching area and 11 new pieces of cardio equipment. Our members will have six more treadmills, three more ellipticals, one more upright bike and one more recumbent bike. If you visit Showcase Harrison County tomorrow (Thursday), you will be able to demo one of the new pieces of equipment.
When will the expansion open?
Now that the expansion is started, everyone wants to know when it will be complete. The expanded Fitness Center with all the new cardio equipment will open Jan. 1, just in time for the New Year’s resolutions.
The upstairs expansion will be fully operational by the end of January. We may be able to use some of the classrooms before then, but there are so many details that it’s a little early to say. Our contractor, James L. Shireman, understands our business and is working hard to have this expansion ready for our members’ beginning-of-the-year enthusiasm.
How much will this cost, and who’s paying for it?
That is the second-most-often-asked question. The total cost of the expansion and equipment is $500,000. The first $150,000 is being funded by the YMCA. We have been very careful with our money, which has allowed us to save some money from our initial construction campaign and operations.
The remaining $350,000 is our new fund-raising goal for ‘The Dream Continues Campaign.’ We are asking for gifts over three years, from $100 ($33 per year) to $10,000 ($3,333 per year).
To reach our goal, we need 10 gifts of $10,000, 20 gifts of $5,000, 50 gifts of $1,000, 100 gifts of $500 and 500 gifts of $100.
Donors will have the opportunity to have one-half of their donation go toward the endowment fund at Harrison County Community Foundation and one-half toward expansion. The endowment currently provides us with $8,000 income per year, which pays for free third-grade swim lessons and some of our Open Doors Program.
In the first nine months of this year, our YMCA’s Open Doors Program has helped 660 families with $40,157 in reduced membership and program fees. It is important that we grow our endowment to be able to keep serving the people in our community who need help. The Foundation currently matches donations to the endowment, so your money will double for the YMCA mission work.
It is humbling, exciting and faith-building to have another mountain to climb. But, we are not climbing it alone. We have a community with a generous spirit, more than 7,000 members of the YMCA, a staff team of 75, a board of 21 and a miracle-working God inspiring us.
The YMCA of Harrison County is located at 198 Jenkins Court NE, by Governor Frank O’Bannon Park. The phone number is 734-0770.