‘Y’ Capital Campaign now underway

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 6, 2004

The Capital Campaign for the Greenville YMCA is now &uot;up and running&uot; and there is a great deal to accomplish in a short amount of time. Capital Campaign Chairman Allen Stephenson says committees are now in place with captains Leitha Boutwell, Dennis Palmer and Glenn Branum leading the different categories of the campaign.

‘In first phase’

&uot;We are now in the first phase of our campaign, and we are focusing on corporations and other larger groups that are perhaps able to make larger donations to our cause,&uot; Stephenson explains.

While the future YMCA location is &uot;looking good&uot; with a new coat of paint on the exterior, there is still plenty of work to be done on the former Greenville Academy campus, said Stephenson.

He and his team will be going into high gear over the coming weeks, contacting &uot;everyone who can possibly assist the campaign&uot; by donating money and/or supplies needed to get the building in shape.

Hurricane Ivan took its toll on this effort as it did on so many others.

&uot;We had hoped to have everything already underway and wrap up the campaign in December, but quite honestly Ivan did put us all a bit behind,&uot; Stephenson explained.

Much to be done

Getting the structure up to code is also going to involve more work and expense than initially believed, he said.

&uot;We’ve discovered the building will need a great deal of updating to comply with the more stringent fire codes in place today. This means all the doors and windows will have to be replaced and the Celotex in the ceiling will need to come down and be replaced with fire-rated products,&uot; Stephenson explained.

&uot;We are hoping the various groups that volunteer to take on the responsibility of fixing up rooms will also agree to take on the cost of the new fire-retardant doors and windows, even though those will have to be professionally installed…it would certainly be a big help to the cause,&uot; Stephenson said.

Funds have already been set-aside for what Stephenson describes as &uot;a world-class playground&uot; for the new YMCA. &uot;This playground is going to be handicapped accessible and a wonderful addition to the site,&uot; he says.

A short time to do it

The deadline for the &uot;Y&uot; to vacant its current premises is the end of this calendar year.

&uot;We have to be out of the building by the first of January and that means there is a great deal to do in a rather short amount of time,&uot; Stephenson stressed.

Despite the challenges faced, Stephenson remains confident the goal will be reached.

&uot;I know we will get it done. This new YMCA is going to be a tremendous asset for the entire community and something people of all ages can use and enjoy,&uot; Stephenson said.

Donations needed

While monies are needed to get the new building and grounds ready, there are also many items that local folks may have on hand that can be used by the facility, said Amanda Phillips, executive director of the Greenville YMCA.

&uot;We can use many children’s items – strollers, walkers, high chairs, riding toys, for example. We also need air conditioners, a golf cart, landscaping shrubs and many other items. Everything will be put to good use,&uot; Phillips said.

&uot;So many people are working with us on this, including the homebuilder’s association along with many businesses and civic groups. It’s a community effort for what could become a real center for our community,&uot; said Stephenson.