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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

YMCA, YWCA to start building joint home

The YMCA and YWCA are halfway to their goal of raising $40.5 million to build a new central Spokane campus that they will jointly occupy.  Rendering courtesy of YMCA
 (Rendering courtesy of YMCA / The Spokesman-Review)

The YMCA and YWCA are hosting a groundbreaking to kick off construction of their new central Spokane campus.

Demolition on the old Big Brothers and Big Sisters Bingo hall that occupies the site at 930 N. Monroe St. has begun, said Trish McFarland, campaign manager for the project.

Construction is expected to begin on the 80,000-square-foot complex in the next 30 to 60 days. Half of the $40.5 million for the project has already been raised and fundraising will be ongoing during the building.

“We’ve got a long ways to go,” McFarland said, adding that the nonprofits hope to move into the new building in March 2009.

“We want to get started on the project because it will be a 15-month project,” she explained.

The two agencies are collaborating on the campus to eliminate duplication of services, save money and expand programs.

The larger vision, which includes an existing facility in Spokane Valley and a YMCA campus planned for north Spokane, is expected to serve 70,000 people, or one in six residents. The central campus will include centers offering childcare, fitness, aquatics, teen activities, domestic violence services, job readiness and training, a gym and community gathering areas.

Although the fundraising efforts for the two nonprofits haven’t gone public yet, money so far has come from existing supporters, along with two government grants totaling $3.3 million and another $9.3 million from the pending sales of the two downtown facilities.

The Spokane Parks Department is purchasing the YMCA building, which sits on the northwest corner of the park.

The groundbreaking ceremony will be held on Nov. 15 at 10:30 a.m. at the central campus property, 930 N. Monroe St.