Eugene Family YMCA receives $2-million in funding for new location

Eugene Family YMCA receives $2-million in funding for new location

By:  Billy Spotz and KVAL Staff

EUGENE, Ore. - On December 23rd, the Eugene Family YMCA received $2 million in funding for its new location being built on E 24th and Hilyard Street.

The funding came from the passing of the 2023 congressional omnibus appropriations package, and through a collaborative effort from outgoing Congressman Peter DeFazio, Senator Ron Wyden, and Senator Jeff Merkley.

In a press release, Senator Wyden had this to say regarding the funding being provided to the Y.

"Topnotch child care and expanded opportunities for teenagers and STEM learning add up to a key quality-of-life piece in Eugene and throughout Oregon," Wyden said. "I'm thrilled the Eugene YMCA has earned this significant federal investment for the working families it serves, and glad the teamwork with the Y, Senator Merkley and Congressman DeFazio has produced this successful result."

With the new funding, the Y says it has big plans to best utilize the money.

"The new Y will have a transformative impact on children and youth throughout lane county from preschool through high school," said Brian Steffen, the Eugene Family YMCA CEO. "We'll have a STEM learning lab, makerspaces, and high school learning centers, and preschool rooms as well."

Makerspaces are rooms where people can interact with tools like 3D printers, laser cutters, audio and video capture devices and more at no additional cost.

The additional funding brings the total amount raised for the new Y project to $44.3 million. The final cost is expected to be $48 million.

The importance of this additional funding has the Y hopeful that the project could be completed with next to no debt.

"If we can build a new Y without debt, it has a significant impact on the services that we can provide to the community," said Steffen. "Rather than paying loan or lending costs, we can reinvest those into providing scholarships for low-income families to access the Y programs. We can launch heavily subsidized programs, like our disease prevention programs."

The new Y will be approximately 75,000-square-feet, serving thousands of children, families, and more in the Eugene community.

Construction of the new Y is expected to finish in December of this year.

Community donations are still being accepted. If you would like to donate, the link can be found on their website.