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Economy & Business

Eugene YMCA breaks ground

YMCA groundbreaking
Karen Richards
/
KLCC
Brian Steffen, onstage, watches as donors and supporters break ground for the new YMCA

The Eugene YMCA took a big scoop toward the future Thursday, with a groundbreaking ceremony for the new facility.

Hundreds of supporters gathered at 24th and Hilyard on a blue-sky evening to celebrate. There were stories of the YMCA’s impact on families, and jokes about how long it’s taken to break ground. YMCA CEO Brian Steffen told the crowd, “I’ve had people today who say, ‘I think it started 15 years ago, or 20 years ago.’ The reality is, it officially kicked off in 2014 and it has been a labor of love, as has been mentioned, for a long time.”

Steffen thanked the many volunteers and donors, who, in addition to $15 million dollars in Oregon lottery bond funds, helped the $47.6 million dollar facility get started. The new Y, with an expanded aquatics center, activity spaces, and teaching kitchen is expected to be complete in December, 2023.

Steffen said there’s still $650 thousand to raise in the $5 million community campaign phase. He called the new Y a “flagship” facility, and said it will be the second most expensive YMCA in the U.S.

YMCA supporters