The YMCA will name its new facility the Poole Family YMCA and is expected to start construction in the January 2016, YMCA officials announced Thursday in front of more than 150 Garner residents and town officials.
The facility is named after Garner natives Lonnie and Carol Poole for their support of the facility.
“Lonnie and Carol Poole believe in the life-changing work the Y does,” Melissa Oliver, branch director of the YMCA of Garner, said in a news release. “We are so grateful for their support and for the support of others in the community who have made it possible for us to launch our public campaign.”
For years, Garner residents had asked for a YMCA facility and its finally coming to fruition. The nearest YMCA was on Hillsborough Street in Raleigh.
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The YMCA of Garner has been in its quiet phase with its capital campaign for 13 months raising $5.5 million to get a new facility.
It will now enter its public phase as it will try to raise an additional $1.5 million to reach its $7 million goal.
After funds are raised, construction will begin. YMCA officials are expecting that to happen next January.
“We have been talking about this for several years and it is incredibly rewarding,” Oliver said. “So getting to this point is pretty remarkable in a year.”
She said the goal was to originally raise $5 million by December 2014 and they raised $5.5 million by that time.
“The Garner community needed to grow,” Oliver said. “It’s all come together and it’s the right time.”
Donations have poured in from everywhere, Oliver said.
So many needs
The facility will have a 4,500 square foot wellness center, locker rooms, a nursery and kids adventure area, outdoor aquatics center, indoor track, a gymnasium and group exercise studio and will have the capacity to serve 5,000 members of the Garner community.
The new facility will be located in Aversboro Road, adjacent to White Deer Park.
“It’s very difficult to develop this program without a facility,” Lonnie Poole said. “You all hear day-in and day-out about family structure and its decay and breakdown. So many single parents out in the neighborhoods. Kids are lured into gangs and juvenile delinquency and get into problems. So this facility has been needed a long time and could have done a lot of good for people who are in serious trouble right now.
“But we don’t need to delay another moment,” he said.
Poole said the problems are all around Garner and they will only get worse if nothing is done. He said there needs to be a change to raise kids according to the Christian principles the YMCA teaches.
He challenged people to step up to raise the rest of the money to build the facility.
Town council member Buck Kennedy, who also serves on the YMCA of Garner board of directors, called it a “significant day in the life story and history of Garner.”
“The Poole family YMCA will offer programs that will help our children and youth develop into responsible citizens and productive adults,” Kennedy said. “The presence of a Y will mean activities for the entire family unit. Children and even families from lower economic ranks will be eligible for financial assistance to ensure a broad range of the community is being served.”
He also said the YMCA will increase the appeal of Garner to future residents and businesses.
The YMCA of Garner was started in 1998 when the YMCA of the Triangle established a YMCA program center in Garner. The program center serves more than 1,100 children at 11 sites throughout the community.