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Lockport YMCA nears $10M fundraising goal for new complex

LOCKPORT – The Lockport Family YMCA is within $500,000 of a $10 million fundraising goal for construction of a new complex.

“We were hoping to get the $10 million by November, and it looks like we can. We’ve got a lot of irons in the fire,” Executive Director Mark W. Albiez said Thursday. “Half a million dollars will put us over the goal to get this project going.”

The Lockport YMCA will be merging with the Buffalo Niagara YMCA if the fundraising goal is met. The larger organization made successful completion of the fundraising for the new building a condition of the planned merger. Albiez said the merger is now expected to be official during the first quarter of 2017.

If the $500,000 is raised, ground should be broken in late spring or early summer on a YMCA on Snyder Drive in the Town of Lockport. The target date for completion of the new building is Oct. 1, 2018, Albiez said.

The YMCA would be leaving its 90-year-old headquarters on East Avenue in the City of Lockport.

Meanwhile, the Town of Lockport may enlarge its contract with the YMCA to assist in the development – if it can obtain state money.

The Town Board voted Wednesday to join the YMCA in a $500,000 state grant application for funds that are available to not-for-profit organizations that collaborate with municipalities.

Supervisor Mark C. Crocker said if the state grant is received, it could pay not only for paving a parking lot at the new YMCA but also for grading, drainage improvements and utility connections at the site. It might allow for a larger YMCA building than was previously envisioned.

“If we can get $500,000, they can make their footprint bigger and better,” Crocker said. However, exact details on the facility still are lacking.

Compared to the three-story brick building the YMCA would leave behind in East Avenue, Albiez said the new one would include “a lot more glass, a lot more stuff you can see from the road.”

He said the concept is similar to the Independent Health Family Branch YMCA on Tech Drive in Williamsville, near the Erie Community College North Campus, although not as large.


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