YMCA Executive Director Steve Graf said the new fitness center is more than five years old now, and Y officials see the youth development center as phase 2 of meeting the community's needs.
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Y officials are embarking on a $4 million capital campaign to make the project happen.
The preliminary timetable calls for the campaign to end in 2012, with construction beginning that year and the new center opening in spring 2013, according to information from the Y. The campaign is now in a blackout period until November, Graf
A United Way agency agrees not to do any fundraising of its own during the United Way campaign, which typically ends in November, he
The current Learning Tree Preschool on South Washington Street is licensed to accommodate 104 children, and After the Bell is licensed for 90, Graf
The new center will be licensed to serve 185 to 200 children in Learning Tree and 130 in After the Bell.
The new youth development center will serve infants to sixth-graders and would add 14 full-time employees, Graf
The center, to be built across State Street west of the YMCA
between First and Railroad avenues, will be an accessible, secure facility with drive-through drop-off and pickup; indoor and outdoor play areas; and rooms for various ages, Graf
said 35 percent of kids at Learning Tree and After the Bell are on state assistance or a YMCA scholarship.
said rates would not go up with a new facility any more than they would normally in the current facilities.
Surveys have found a need for child care.
One conducted by South Dakota Voices for Children found that 84 percent of children younger than 6 in Aberdeen are in families where all parents are in the work force.
Learning Tree, which is full, fields an average of 2.5 child care inquiries a day, Graf