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Niles-Buchanan YMCA getting upgrades

Niles-Buchanan YMCA has a big upgrade in the works // WSBT 22 PHOTO

The Niles-Buchanan YMCA is getting some upgrades.

The facility has a big expansion project in the works.

Many of the renovations are geared toward youth and teens.

Since this current facility was built 10 years ago, membership has grown significantly beyond what it can hold.

In all, 8,000 members visit the Y on a regular basis. And that number is expected to go up.

The members not only come from Niles and Buchanan, but also from neighboring counties in Indiana and Michigan.

That's why staff and members at the YMCA say growth in the youth and teen area is so needed.

Stacy LaBre and her family are members at the Niles-Buchanan YMCA.

LaBre says, "There's just so much going on is why they need the space. They need to expand some of their programs to help you some local community."

Additions include a new gymnasium, youth centers, fitness studios, and a community room.

They are planning on building the project in three phases.

The new gymnasium will be first, because many members say the existing basketball courts get too packed.

Phase two is the youth centers.

And third: Additional fitness studios.

Jill Haboush, YMCA Fund Development says, "With the current work that we've done with our current programs with the Y club after school programming, we know that there is a need for kids to have that safe place to be. Get some homework help, get a snack and stay physically active and even get a little bit of nutrition education along the way."

Each phase is estimated to cost about $2 million.

Right now they have $1.4 million secured and pledged.

"Right now we are funding this project through community donations," says Dallas Dreher, YMCA of SW Michigan. " We have donations through some capital grants that are locally funded and then we also have some large companies in the local area that come through as well."

They hope to break ground next year – early spring or late summer.

A firm timeline will be established by the end of 2017.

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