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YMCA sets $8 million goal to fund renovations

| Monday, April 30, 2001

Many of the YMCA of Pittsburgh's 18 branches need renovation and upgrades because they are old - and because needs have changed, said Gary Rick, executive director of the South East Area branch in Wilmerding.

To accomplish that goal, the YMCA is conducting a capital campaign titled 'Another Reason Y!' that is designed to raise $8 million to augment the $17 million the organization already has raised.

Much of the $17 million 'has come from corporations, foundations, board members and staff,' Rick said. 'We hope to raise the majority of the rest from individuals and small businesses.'

South East Area is due to receive $1.2 million for projects including adding a second floor to create additional space for meeting rooms, a teen center, other youth programs and offices, which will move from the first floor.

Rick said that will open space on the first floor to expand the fitness center and add ADA-compliant and preschool locker rooms and a rear lobby.

The East Communities branch, Penn Hills, will get $1.5 million, much of which will be used to buy a 2-acre parcel behind the current building on Frankstown Road.

'We have a small facility that is just busting at the seams,' said Executive Director Gary Nowading. 'We have kids on waiting lists' for activities including summer camp, karate lessons and before- and after-school child care.

On the parcel, East Communities wants to construct an addition to house a gym, a child care center, a wellness center and a room 'for teens to come over after school and congregate and form some leader clubs and have mentoring and recreational programs for them,' he said.

East Suburban Family YMCA in Plum will get $500,000 to complete an expansion program already in progress.

Julius Jones, president of the YMCA of Pittsburgh, said components include salaries and buying athletic equipment, furniture and supplies for the child care program and heating and air conditioning, especially in the gym.

Other eastern-area branches, how much they will get and their plans are:

  • Garfield: $100,000 to refurbish the building's exterior and interior, including partitioning the interior and replacing and adding restrooms.

  • Hazelwood: $100,000 to renovate the building's interior and exterior.

  • Homewood-Brushton: $3.2 million to add administrative space, adult locker rooms, an aerobics studio, a babysitting/meeting room, a child care center, handball/racquetball courts, a main gym, at least one multipurpose room, a special needs locker room, a teen/active older adult area and a wellness center.

    Pete Bishop can be reached at pbishop@tribweb.com or (412) 380-8518.

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