Dave Allen started off the presentation to the Rotary Club of Belleville about the capital project surrounding the proposed new YMCA facility being built in the City of Belleville.  The YMCA Centre for Life will be a 60,000 sq. ft. multi-purpose community hub that will feature two pools, whirlpool, gymnasium, conditioning centre, aerobics/exercise studio, universal/family change room, multi-purpose/community meeting rooms, lounge and social areas for people of all abilities, convenient Kids Kare, Children's Treehouse, partner organization services.  Dave announced that Ed Lehtinen and Kristin Crowe will be the YMCA Capital Campaign Co-Chairs, supported by a Cabinet including, Wolf Tausenfreund, Cassandra Bonn, Ruth Aulthouse, Susan O'Brien, Sullivan Auctions, Doug Peterson, Bernie Ouellet, John Mastorakos, Mark Phillips, Heather Williams and Kelly McKinney.  Wolf and Elaine Tausendfreund are Honourary Chairs for the Community Building Campaign and are very proud to have made it a priority to share their time and energy to support this organization.
Kristin Crowe shared a description of the YMCA by the numbers:
  • 780 children and youth found friendship, support and physical activity through a subsidized YMCA membership
  • 500 children were enrolled in YMCA Child Care and Before and After School programs
  • 1330 adults participated in the Post Cardiac Rehabilitation program
  • 195 young people learned how to inspire others through Leadership Programs, preparing them to be the role models our communities need
Kristin encouraged people to tour the current building to get a sense of all that happens at the Y. The current building no longer meets the accessibility requirements that we have a duty to provide.  The population in Belleville is growing. The current facility cannot accommodate the growing popularity of programs and services.  Why the Location?  The site, at the corner of Bridge and Sidney Streets, was determined by Leisure Plan International, to be the optimal site for the delivery of a range of aquatic, fitness, recreation and community services. The site is well poised to take advantage of neighbouring communities as well as vehicular traffic across the Bay Bridge (approx. 15,000 cars per day). The west end of Belleville is embarking on a revitalization effort and is seeing strong residential growth. The site will be well served by public transit and is accessible to trails for active transportation such as walking and wheeling.
Kelly McKinney shared that David Brown, retired Senior  Partner from Taskforce Engineering, has agreed to fulfill the pivotal role  of Project Manager.  It is estimated that the construction of the YMCA Centre for Life will, through the direct spending by the YMCA and the indirect (rolling over) effects of this spending in the area, generate more than $30M of economic activity and create the equivalent of 200 full-time jobs over the length of the construction project.
With a projected budget of $27,494,000, the YMCA Community Build Campaign has its work cut out for it.  Ed Lehtinen advised that significant calls have been made already with respect to funding requests.  The Federal and Provincial Governments have committed to 33% and 27% respectively in addition to the City of Belleville's contribution.  The overall campaign goal is $900,000.  One area in the new building will house a Children's Treehouse, providing children with the opportunity for fun physical activity while exploring movement through multiple spaces and terrain changes with family and friends.  It was suggested this would be a good fit for Rotary to get involved with, a legacy project that will serve our communities for years to come.
The speakers were thanked by Peter Malone, who acknowledged the great things that the YMCA has done for this community and surrounding areas.