Now it seems real.
Even though improvements at the Brainerd Family YMCA have taken place at a fast and furious pace, the recent groundbreaking and the construction commotion on Oak Street drive home the point that the Brainerd lakes area will soon boast a YMCA that will be the envy of central Minnesota.
The May 24 groundbreaking was for the third and final phase of a $4.3 million project which will feature a new aquatic center, locker rooms, two youth centers, a meeting-banquet room and substantial remodeling. Phase one was 1,900-square-foot wellness center and phase two was the construction of a new parking lot, which was completed last fall.
The fund-raising drive is the most ambitious one the Brainerd area has ever seen. It received a generous jump-start thanks to a $2.1 million contribution from Fran and Clarence Holden. More than two years after fund-raising efforts began, Y officials have come within $300,000 of their goal thanks to a host of individuals, businesses and organizations that dug deep into their pockets to make the dream of a revitalized and expanded YMCA a reality.
For those would like to help the YMCA go over the top in its fund-raising efforts, a "buy a brick" promotion is being featured. Donors may buy a brick for $1,000 or more and have their name on a tile that will be displayed on the outside of the building.
The expanded YMCA, to be known as Lakes Area YMCA Community Center when construction is completed next April, can serve the needs of a wide spectrum of people in the Brainerd area: the young, the old, people undergoing rehabilitation after medical problems or just ordinary folks who want to improve their health. The improvements at the YMCA will be a big plus for the city of Brainerd and the entire Brainerd lakes area.
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