West Broad Street YMCA receives $250,000 grant

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - The West Broad Street YMCA announced Friday that it is the recipient of a $250,000 capital challenge grant to continue renovations and improvements.

The grant is from an Atlanta-based trust that wishes to remain anonymous. It was awarded because the organization's board of trustees recognize the West Broad Street YMCA as vital to the continued growth of the surrounding neighborhood and its role in ending generational poverty, according to a news release.

The funds are a matching grant. In order for the YMCA to receive the grant award, it must raise an equal amount. The trust has already given the West Broad Street YMCA $132,000 of the award based on $103,000 of in-kind match the Y had already assembled, the release said.

"In 2008 we received money from the City of Savannah and Chatham County to begin renovations of our building," said Executive Director Peter R. Doliber, in a statement. "But the buildings were in such bad shape that we couldn't do it all. We had 2,500 square feet of potential classroom space that we could not touch. When we learned of this grant possibility, we approached the funders and asked if we could possibly draw down some of the funds to begin these renovations if we had in-kind donations of services. They agreed and construction has begun."

Among the renovations the Y would like to complete include air conditioning in the gym, covering the pool for more year-round use, upgrading the telephone and computer networks, renovating its entrance to be more accommodating to guests, and redesigning its front area for better traffic flow and space utilization.

The YMCA has until March 2012 to raise $118,000 in cash and pledges to receive the remaining $118,000 of the grant, according to the news release.

The Board of Directors of the West Broad Street YMCA plans to launch a capital campaign in the fall of this year to raise the matching funds.

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