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Eugene YMCA’s new facility to receive $ 15 million from Oregon Legislature


The Eugene Family YMCA will receive $ 15 million in state funding for a new facility, after the economic impacts of COVID-19 blocked the sale of bonds for projects in 2020.

Brian Steffen, CEO of Eugene Family YMCA, said it was the highest amount ever awarded in the organization’s 134-year history and that it would be a crucial step towards the completion of funding for a new YMCA building.

“This was pivotal funding for the new Y, and once again we are touched and grateful for the trust and support of lawmakers,” said Steffen. “From there, we’re focusing on the last major giveaways for the new Y, and we think we can clear them up by the end of the summer.”

Steffen declined to say how close the YMCA has come to its goal of $ 42 million for the project, and added that he believes he will be able to share the amount by the end of August or in early September when the organization will know if it will receive a significant amount. federal funding from new market tax credits.

The YMCA announced several important donations made by the community, including:

  • $ 4 million, April: YMCA donors helped raise $ 4 million by raising $ 1 million for the John E. and Robin Jaqua Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation.
  • $ 650,000, March: Includes donations from four different donors: $ 350,000 last winter from the MJ Murdock Charitable Trust; $ 100,000 from Herb Merker and Marcy Hammock; $ 50,000 from Joe Karcher and his wife, Cathleen; and an anonymous donation of $ 150,000.
  • $ 1.5 million, June: Gift of the Chambers Family Foundation.
  • $ 4 million, January 2020: Gift from Bill and Michelle Service.
  • $ 1 million, December 2019: YMCA donors raised $ 50,000 through a matching grant from local philanthropist Betty Soreng, who donated $ 50,000.

In 2019, state lawmakers authorized $ 15 million in funding for the Eugene Family YMCA as part of lottery bonds for 37 projects in the state.

However, because COVID-19 and the associated economic decline blocked the sale of the bonds in 2020, the 2021 legislative session re-examined each of the projects.

Related:Eugene Family YMCA makes summer programs for kids free

The $ 15 million funding, designated in Senate Bill 5534, was passed by the Legislature on Saturday, as part of a package of $ 445.2 million for 55 projects. It is expected to be signed by Governor Kate Brown in early August.

“The economic downturn due to the pandemic has had a widespread impact, including delays in the development of the much-needed new facility for the Eugene Family YMCA,” Representative Nancy Nathanson, D-Eugene, said in a statement from hurry. “My colleagues and I took the first opportunity we could to re-authorize public funding for the Y. We recognize how vital this organization is to the well-being of our community, and our community needs the Y all the more. after COVID.

The new YMCA building is expected to have an area of ​​74,000 square feet at the corner of 24th Avenue and Hilyard Street.

“The current Y building at 2055 Patterson St. was designed to serve a 1950s population of 70,000,” the statement said. “He has served the community well for 66 years, but is now in a state of costly structural decline. “

Louis Krauss covers the latest news for The Register-Guard. Contact him at [email protected] or 541-521-2498, and follow him on Twitter @LouisKraussNews.


Rodney N.

The author Rodney N.