Fundraising effort for new Family Y recreation center runs through May 1

For more than a decade, Family YMCA of Fayette County leaders have hoped for and worked toward a new facility that would allow the entity to better serve the residents of this area.

With architectural drawings in hand and a substantial amount of money in its coffers, the Family Y is getting closer to that goal.

In a presentation to the Vandalia City Council last Monday, John Ashdown said the Family Y is working on a 16,900-square-foot facility on the city’s west side.

Ashdown said the Family Y is planning to build a structure that will include a gym, a walking and jogging track above the gym and about 3,000 square feet of space for weights and other types of fitness equipment.

The Family Y is currently housed in 7,500 square feet of space on the second floor of the building at the north end of the 100 block of South Fifth Street.

The new home of the Family Y would be located at the southwest corner of the Rock Island and Fillmore Street intersection, just east of the Kaskaskia College Vandalia Campus.

“This is going to be a nice facility sitting on the campus of the college,” Ashdown said. “We hope to make this an exciting place (for people) to go, and we hope to bring in some people who haven’t been involved (with the Family Y) in the past.

The new home of the Family Y, which has a long-term lease with KC, will be located across the street to the west of baseball, softball and soccer fields that are being prepared through another lease agreement, he said.

The estimated cost of the new Y facility is about $2 million, and Ashdown said the Family Y has raised about $1.1 million thus far.

Its fundraising efforts in the near future include the Y’s annual banquet featuring a $10,000 grand prize on Jan. 31, and a membership push, he said. New members will see the majority of their fee go toward the building project.

The fundraising efforts run through May 1, Ashdown said.

In making the presentation, Ashdown said the Family Y would like to see the city participate in the project in any way possible.

“We hope that this is something you see that you can be involved in and support,” Ashdown said.

Another member of the Y committee, Dave Bell, said the building project has been in the works for about 15 years, and that the Family Y is excited about all that it can provide for Vandalia and Fayette Countty.

“There are a lot of things it adds to our community,” Bell said. “It’s something that can improve the quality of life in this area.”

The city can benefit from such improvements, Ashdown said.

“We feel that something like this will help bring new people and new business to Vandalia,” he said.

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