YMCA Announces Big Capacity-Building Plan - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

YMCA Announces Big Capacity-Building Plan

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A number of projects have recently been announced, and are in the works, to bring more development to Davenport's downtown riverfront area. The YMCA is expanding, with an emphasis on downtown Davenport. Representatives say the plan to build a brand new YMCA along 4th street, from River Drive to Iowa Street, might take eight to ten years. A new early learning center will come first, adjacent to the new YMCA, with a groundbreaking set for this summer. The YMCA is the largest childcare provider in Scott County, and the USA. Representatives announced a $4 million capital campaign Tuesday, to reach the Y's five Scott County facilities, and campsite, over the next seven years.

"All of the YMCA's will be touched with either new equipment, renovations, and basically what we're trying to do with this campaign is add capacity to serve more people," said CEO Brad Martell of the Scott County Family Y.

The early learning center is a $2.5 million gift from the United Way of the Quad Cities' Women's Leadership Council. Martell says more people are moving downtown, so there was a need to keep up with the growth.

"Our downtown Davenport branch now is our second largest branch, so downtown Davenport does have a lot of energy going right now," he said.

He says the upcoming developments will not only benefit families, but it could also help boost the local economy.

"Having a strong downtown makes you a very, very vibrant community," he said. "Anytime you have businesses in your downtown area, whether they're non-profit service oriented, business oriented, it's good for downtown."

There is already an early learning center at Palmer, and at the existing downtown Y on 2nd Street, which will likely shift to the new building. Martell says a groundbreaking will happen this July or August, and the center will be open to the public spring 2015. Those involved say they're looking forward to the expansion plans.

"It's a good place for kids to go to hang out together," said 17-year-old Dozmen Lee, who works at the Y. "You know, somewhere where there's not any trouble. You don't have to worry about any drama."

Out of the $4 million for the entire capital campaign, representatives say $2.7 million is in right now. They say Bettendorf will get the bulk of the renovation, and the existing downtown Y will be renovated, too.

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