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Construction on Track at Upper Perk YMCA
Written by Kelly Chandler Staff Writer

 "$1,000 from 1,000" fundraising campaign kicks off this week

        It is a common topic of conversation around the area as the excitement builds:  Construction of the $17 million new Upper Perkiomen Valley YMCA is well underway.

        Steel framing for the gymnasium went up last week at the site at 1399 Quakertown Ave. in Upper Hanover Township.  More steel will be erected this week, said Branch Executive Director Michael Tannous.  The exterior of the elevator shaft has also been completed.

        Previous work included the installation of the foundation for the facility's indoor pool complex, which will be home to a 25-yard, six-lane competitive lap pool, a three-lane recreational pool and a family fun pool with zero depth entry for very young children, special needs members and older adults.

        The 72,000-sq.-ft. facility will also include a two-story grand lobby, a wellness center with cardiovascular conditioning and strength training equipment, an oversized gym with a basketball court, gymnastics equipment and a volleyball court, a child watch center, an indoor running and walking track and exercise studios.

        Next on the list at the construction site will be the completion of masonry work, roofing, plumbing and HVAC.

        The new Y hopes to open its doors in January 2015, Tannous said.  "The overwhelming response from the community has been 'We can't wait!'" he noted.

        Youth art and swim lessons, cycling, t'ai chi and yoga, Les Mills Body Pump and Combat and Zumbini will top some of the new class offerings, with more to be announced later.  A handful of those programs have already started at the current Upper Perk YMCA on Pottstown Avenue in Pennsburg.

        He said the YMCA is grateful for all the generous donations it has received to date.

        "The biggest thing is that we are getting such a gift again and again.  First the land was given in 1956, and then we had generous donors in 2001 and now.  The YMCA picked us to invest in, they didn't have to pick Upper Perk," he said.  "It is such a gift." 

        About $1 million remains to be raised for the project.  This week marks the beginning of a new fundraising campaign dubbed "$1,000 from 1,000."  Tannous said the organization is asking 1,000 people to pledge $200 per year for the next five years to meet their financial obligations.  Those contributors would have their names permanently inscribed on the facility's donor wall.

        "We would like 1,000 people to participate in giving this to our valley," he said.  "That will make it happen."    

        The Y is also looking to hire up to 200 people for new part- and full-time positions at the location.  Tannous said the branch will begin the hiring process soon for those jobs.

        For more information on the Upper Perkiomen Valley YMCA, and to get construction updates, visit the Y's Facebook page, "Upper Perk YMCA" or call 215-679-9622.





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