The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

News

April 23, 2013

YMCA launches fund drive

JOHNSTOWN — The Greater Johnstown Community YMCA wants to expand, remodel, get green and improve safety.

And it’s going to take a lot of money to get those things done.

On Tuesday, the organization took a major step in the process by announcing its 3M Capital Campaign Project during an event inside the facility, located at 100 Haynes St. in Johns-

town.

“We’re really excited today to make the announcement that the YMCA is committed to moving into the future to make a difference in the lives of those we serve in the Greater Johnstown area,” said YMCA Executive Director Sharon Jones.

Officials want to raise $3.5 million.

“It is a very challenging project,” said Jones.

Committee members hope to acquire $1 million in private donations and more than $500,000 through foundation grants. They have applied for state money to cover the rest of the cost.

“We feel like we’ve got a nice diverse portfolio of opportunities for funding,” said campaign co-chairman Edward Sheehan, CEO of Concurrent Technologies Corp.

Even before publicly announcing the fund drive, the committee already had reached 65 percent of its $1 million goal for donations from the community.

“That’s a great start,” Sheehan said.

A remodeled YMCA would, according to officials, be able to provide even more programs and fitness opportunities to a diverse group of citizens.

“When you come down to the Y, you hit every age gamut from the father taking his kid to learn how to swim to shooting his first basket, to the war fighter that came from Afghanistan or Iraq who is here working out ... to mature adults, our senior citizens here, they’re in the pool, they’re exercising,” said co-chairman Bill Polacek, JWF Industries CEO and longtime YMCA member.

The plan includes a new youth center, therapeutic swimming pool, equipment, expanded cardiovascular room and welcome center.

Environmentally friendly upgrades have been designed for the roof, HVAC, plumbing and electrical. Improved parking lot lighting is expected to be installed in order to improve safety.

The building has not undergone a major renovation since it was built in 1979.

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