Municipal Affairs
December 19, 2008

Federal, Provincial and Municipal Governments Support New Facility for the YMCA in St. John�s

The YMCA-YWCA of Northeast Avalon will build a new multi-purpose, recreation, health, and family facility in St. John�s. The new building will be located at Ridge Road and Higgins Line inside the eastern boundary of C.A. Pippy Park, on land purchased from the C.A. Pippy Park Commission and donated to the Y by the City of St. John�s. The new building will cost approximately $11.3 million, with a portion of that funding provided by the federal, provincial and municipal levels of government through the Newfoundland and Labrador Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund (MRIF).

The funding for the new facility was announced today by the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister Responsible for the Atlantic Gateway; the Honourable David Denine, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, on behalf of the Honourable Dianne Whalen, Minister of Municipal Affairs; St. John�s Mayor Dennis O�Keefe; and Craig Rowe, Chair of the Board of Directors of the YMCA-YWCA of Northeast Avalon.

"The new YMCA-YWCA facility will provide broad-based health, fitness, and recreational programs for the growing population of St. John's and surrounding area," said Minister MacKay. "It will help increase participation by individuals and families of all ages, abilities and incomes. Through ACOA, our Government keeps Atlantic Canada moving forward by investing in projects like this that improve municipal infrastructure, and the health and well-being of residents, making everyday life better for all Canadians."

"The Provincial Government is committed to investing in important infrastructure that will enhance the well-being of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians," said Minister Denine. "We are pleased that with the help of our $1.5 million investment today, residents will have access to a state-of-the-art health, fitness and family centre. This type of facility, accessible to all ages and income levels, is a critical piece of community infrastructure and we are proud to be part of making it happen."

The new facility will include an aquatic centre and gymnasium, a conditioning centre for individual exercise, courts, change rooms, a multi-purpose community space, and administrative offices; and will also include a child care centre and the offices of the Y Enterprise and Employment Centre.

This project is funded through a cost-shared public/private partnership between the federal, provincial and municipal levels of government and the YMCA-YWCA. Both the federal and provincial governments will contribute $1.5 million each; with the Government of Canada funding administered by ACOA; while the funding from the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador will be delivered through the Department of Municipal Affairs.

The remaining funds will be provided through financing of $1.5 million from the City of St. John�s and $6.9 million from the YMCA-YWCA�s capital campaign presently underway, the sale of their old property, and through financing.

The facility will be situated in a highly populated and growing area of St. John�s that is within easy access to more than 200,000 people in the communities of the Northeast Avalon. It will be close to secondary and post-secondary schools, government offices and businesses. The building itself will be quite visible and set on an attractive site in the urban section of Pippy Park.

"This is a great example of the three levels of government and stakeholders working together to achieve an excellent piece of recreational infrastructure for the area," said Mayor O�Keefe. "Such a project will pay great dividends for young people and families for many years to come."

"We are grateful for the support of the three levels of government for $4.5 million," said Craig Rowe, chair of the Y Board of Directors and chair of the project committee for the new Y. "This support for our campaign is tremendous. Our programs in health, child care, and employment will be able to engage more people in more comprehensive ways."

The design concept will assess use of geo-thermal heating for the building and incorporate technology to capture and retain natural light and heat.  

The new Y will be totally accessible for people with disabilities.

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Media contacts:

Doug Burgess
Director, Public Affairs
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Jennifer Collingwood
Director of Communications
Department of Municipal Affairs
Mayor Dennis O�Keefe
Office of the Mayor
City of St. John�s
709- 576-8477
Jason Brown
Chief Executive Officer
YMCA-YWCA of Northeast Avalon
709-754-2982. Ext. 41

2008 12 19                                                     11:40 a.m.

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