YMCA excavates to expand downtown location - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

YMCA excavates to expand downtown location

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

The downtown YMCA is expanding. First, that means some old, dilapidated buildings must go. The Y has been planning improvements for several years now.   

Once all the dust settles, the YMCA anticipates the space where three old, deteriorating buildings sit will soon become home to a brand new facility connected to the current building.  

Executive Vice president for operations, Karen Keegan, says demolishing these three structures - which used to be store fronts - is the first step of the $20 million project.  

"You can see all the issues with an older building of accessibility and things like that we really need to remedy for today's society," said Keegan.  

Keegan says the new building set to face West Grace Street includes more space for preschool and after school programs as well as a warm water pool for kids and adults.  

"The empty buildings are really ugly," said Charlie Small. "I see a lot of development going on but this one has been sitting for a long time so it doesn't hurt me to see it being torn down." 

People have been walking through YMCA'S doors downtown for the past 70 years, so the developers made a point to design the new building with a similar historic resemblance that meets modern day demands.  

The demolition is scheduled to last a couple of days. The Y hopes to finish the building as soon as it meets fundraising goals. 

If people are interested in donating to the YMCA's project, call 649-9622. 

Copyright 2012 WWBT NBC12.  All rights reserved.

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