YMCA in Ogden set to break ground next year

Donation kickoff • Larry H. Miller group of companies donated $200K to building.
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Lincoln Elementary in Ogden is looking forward to a new neighbor.

Plans are in motion for a new YMCA Community Family Center to be built next to the school. Supporters are hoping for a December 2013 ground breaking.

The agency received a big boost to their fundraising goal of $650,000 when the Larry H. Miller Group of companies donated a lead gift of $200,000. The goal is to build a 5,800 square foot facility.

"Without a dedicated space, the YMCA has been limited in our capacity to effectively provide the level of service that is required to eradicate the barriers to family success. This generous gift from the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies will allow us to partner in new, innovative and collaborative ways with Ogden School District, the City of Ogden and other community groups to better meet their students', families' and greater community needs," said YMCA of Northern Utah CEO Richard West in a statement.

"We are just thrilled about this project and excited to see as it moves forward," said Adrienne Shaw, marketing and events coordinator of the Northern YMCA.

YMCA workers are excited for good reason. The new building will allow them to offer both before- and after-school programs for children. Currently they are only able to offer after-school programs.

The purpose of the YMCA Afterschool Program is to help youth develop to their fullest in spirit, mind and body by incorporating the core values of caring, respect, honesty and responsibility, according to organizers. The YMCA focuses on behavioral expectations, strong curriculum, and opportunities for youth participation and development.

There are four core components to their program: homework support, health and well-being, arts and culture and science.

With more time and resources, administrators say staff will be able to increase their support and interaction with students.

In addition to before- and after-school programs, they will offer extended-day programs for kindergarteners who only attend school half day.

Sharon Gardner, program manager for after-school YMCA programs at Lincoln Elementary, looks forward to involving the entire community. They plan to offer family parenting, Zumba, yoga, cooking and Spanish and English classes. The facility also will be a place for the community to host events.

Gardner hopes to offer a little something for everyone. "I am really excited that this end of town will have something affordable geared toward families," she said.

The YMCA has worked hand-in-hand with the Ogden School District, the City of Ogden and the United Way of Northern Utah to understand the needs of the community, organizers said.

The Dr. Ezekiel R. and Edna Wattis Dumke Foundation, which was founded in Ogden in 1958, also has pledged $50,000 to the fund.

This will be the second YMCA facility built in Utah.


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