Breaking Ground For A Better FutureWritten by Beatriz Reyna
It's a facility built by a community.
Tuesday, community and school officials and students gather for a groundbreaking event in Lexington for the new YMCA and Lexington Middle Schools' addition.
A community gathers Tuesday to watch the first spade of dirt turned the new YMCA and Lexington Middle School expansion project.
It's a project five years in the making.
“A group of community leaders in Lexington got together to try to decide what type of entity to have. A study decided that a YMCA was the route to go. Two years ago we opened a store front and we've been operating out of 4,000 square foot facility for two years,” says Tod McKeone, Lexington YMCA Pres.
Six months ago, the community embarked on its largest capital campaign ever to build a $4.5 million facility.
“Mom can come and drop her young child off at child watch and walk around the suspended walking track while she is watching her son play basketball below. It's just going to be a great opportunity and a great place for families to congregate and to develop healthy lifestyles and embed them into their children,” says Katie Bohnhoff, Lexington YMCA Site Manager.
And the timing of the project couldn't have been better as enrollment numbers increased at the current YMCA location and the middle school.
“The YMCA has about ten percent of its community members as members. The expansion of this building will allow us to offer so much more for this community and we won't have the overcrowding we have right now,” says Bohnhoff.
“Our enrollment has grown over the last few years and we definitely need the classroom space and by having the gym and the commons area will be a great benefit,” says John Hakonson , Lexington Public Schools Superintendent.
“We will have a phase two which is $7.5 million to put a pool in it so we're still trying to reach that second phase so we can put a pool on now otherwise that will be done later,” says McKeone.
The project is expected to be complete by 2014.
“The economic impact I think is something that often gets lost. The idea of being able to attract young professionals into a community like this and not have the rural drain like you often see in communities and have services you can offer as well as employment opportunities,” says McKeone.