Laurier YMCA set to be finished within the year

Ever since the project began, rumours and questions about the details and completion date of the new athletic complex have been floating around the Laurier Brantford campus.

The layout of the facility includes two pools, a fitness centre, studios for various fitness classes, gymnasiums and a student lounge. Plans for the indoor track were removed.

“Unlike some YMCA facilities … this one will be open to the entire community,” said Ann Brandt, Brantford Director of Development.

The cost of the facility went up by approximately $8 million and is now at $67 million.

“The more the building is designed, the more accurate the cost is,” said Jim Commerford, President and CEO.

The government, students and community are covering the expenses.

The federal and provincial government are each giving $17 million towards the project and the municipal government is giving $5.2 million.

A fundraising campaign to raise money for the costs of the YMCA development was run by Brandt and Bryan Webber, Vice President of Financial Development for the YMCA. Their goal was to raise $5 million, but thanks to generous contributors and a $2 million donation from Steven and Helen Kun, the total amount fundraised was $5.4 million.

For 10 years, students have been paying a mandatory fee of $8 per half credit to create a total of $40 per term for the YMCA. Student donations have covered $3.6 million over the 10-year period.

The facility will be shared among Laurier students and the community and is North America’s first YMCA-university collaboration.

“I think it’s incredible,” said Brandt. “It will bring the whole community together.”

Commerford also commented, “It’s been a tremendous partnership with Laurier and Six Nations.”

Originally the project was set to be done in late 2017. Construction was delayed for 18 months because of the archaeological dig that found 400,000 Aboriginal artifacts. The artifacts are currently in the process of being cleaned, categorized and dated. Studies say it’s the largest and most recent dig in Ontario since the constructing of Sky Dome in Toronto.

The old YMCA on Wellington has been sold to St. Vincent de Paul, a charitable company that sells clothing.

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