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YMCA's expansion campaign under way

This drawing offers a bird's eye view of how the Alexandria YMCA will look upon completion of the expansion project. (Drawing courtesy of JLG Architects)1 / 2
The expanded areas of the YMCA will include a new child-watch center and multi-purpose rooms for group exercises and youth programs. The existing child-watch center will be renovated into a cycling studio. (Drawing courtesy of JLG Architects)2 / 2

The Alexandria YMCA's fundraising campaign for a major expansion project is off and running.

The J.A. Wedum Foundation in Minneapolis recently awarded a $500,000 matching grant to the YMCA to help build an 8,000-square-foot addition, which will bring the total square footage of the facility to 64,000 square feet.

On January 1, the YMCA re-engaged its "Continue the Dream" capital campaign to raise the remaining dollars to meet the phase II expansion goal of $2.5 million. The campaign began in June 2012, but paused in August due to the annual United Way campaign.

The crux of the campaign is called "500 for 1,000" or recruiting 500 individuals/businesses to give $1,000 each, according to Jeff Bartholomew, executive director.

A portion of the $2.5 million will retire existing debt from the original capital campaign. Upon completion of the campaign in April, the YMCA plans to break ground this fall and complete the expansion by February 2014.

The phase II priorities for expansion include:

• Construction of a new multi-purpose room, dedicated to group exercise and youth program space.

• New child-watch center to complement the number of growing children and families.

• Development of outdoor field space to accommodate youth and adult programs on site.

• Renovation of the existing child-watch center to a cycling studio.

To donate to the Continue the Dream campaign or for more

information, contact Bartholomew at (320) 834-9622, e-mail jbartholomew@alexandriaymca.

com or go to the website,

Each donor that contributes at the "pace setting" gift level ($1,000 or more) will be honored by including their name on the YMCA donor wall, located in the new addition. Friends of the Y contributors ($1 to $999 donations) will be recognized on a print. Special recognition will be given to those investing in naming facility locations.

Al Edenloff
Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  
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