EUGENE FAMILY YMCA CELEBRATES BREAKING GROUND ON NEW Y SITE JUNE 23
Groundbreaking ceremony marks new era for the Eugene Y with a flagship facility that will serve thousands more

Eugene, Ore., June 20, 2022—The Eugene Family YMCA is delighted to invite the community to the official groundbreaking ceremony for the new Y, which will provide thousands more opportunities for youth to grow and explore, families to play together and individuals to improve health and wellness.

“We have been dreaming of this day for more than a decade,” said Eugene Family YMCA Board President Joe Carmichael, also the Vice President and Commercial Relationship Manager at Oregon Pacific Bank. “Turning dirt at the new Y site marks so much more than the day construction begins. It represents the transition from a vision to a reality of expanded programs for kids, teenagers, families, young adults and seniors. We know that this facility will be a gamechanger for the community and the way it can support and lift up people of all walks of life.”

  • What: New Y groundbreaking ceremony
  • Date: Thursday, June 23
  • Time: 6 p.m.
  • Place: New Y site, corner of E. 24th Avenue and Hilyard Street
  • Getting there: Walking and biking is strongly encouraged. The Y is providing bike valet parking, courtesy of Cascadia Mobility. Vehicles can be parked at neighboring Roosevelt Middle School, Hilyard and Amazon Community Centers or South Eugene High School (with a short 3-block walk to the site).
  • What to expect: A festive atmosphere, music, a short program with speakers, ceremonial dirt turning, and photo opportunities with shovels!

“This celebration fills me with immense joy because I know what an integral part the Eugene Y plays in our region,” said Capital Campaign Chair Sabrina Parsons, also CEO of Palo Alto Software. “With this new facility, the Y can have a significant impact on major issues, such as lack of child care, declining youth mental health, and rising health-related problems. The new Y will make a marked difference for good over the next century!”

The new $47.6 million, 75,000-square-foot facility is designed to serve thousands more in the decades to come, as well as eliminate inefficient or unusable spaces. It will feature: 

  • A fully ADA-accessible, flexible floor plan that can change as needed
  • Activity centers for academic tutoring, maker spaces and learning labs 
  • A teaching kitchen for families and individuals to gain nutritional knowledge 
  • An expanded Health & Wellness Center that includes an indoor track and cycle room 
  • An expanded Aquatics Center to teach youth safety skills, support rehabilitation and preventative care, and a splash pad for introducing water to toddlers 
  • The addition of critical programs like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s support, and Falls Prevention 
  • The highest level of seismic standards so the building can be re-purposed as a shelter after a devastating earthquake 

“When our Y began in 1887, it operated from the University of Oregon campus. As it evolved to respond to community needs, its location changed,” said Eugene Family YMCA CEO Brian Steffen. “In 1909, the first Y building was erected on Willamette Street and we supported World War I and II troops and their families. In 1955, our current building was constructed on Patterson Street and we began afterschool child care for working mothers, the first jogging groups with Bill Bowerman, swim lessons to support water safety and chronic disease prevention programs for older adults. With the new Y on E. 24th Avenue, we know we will expand to include more evidence-based health initiatives and new health and wellness classes, but it will likely expand in ways that we can’t even predict today to serve emerging needs of the community!”

Last month the Tykeson Family Foundation launched a $1 million community challenge match to inspire the final million of the $5 million community phase goal. So far, $330,000 has been raised toward that effort. The Tykeson Family Foundation is matching all donations and new multi-year pledges to the project dollar-for-dollar up to $1 million.

“Support from partners like the Tykeson Family Foundation and the team of volunteers working to help raise the funds for the new Y is critical at this stage in the project,” said Eugene Family YMCA Chief Development Officer Danielle Uhlhorn. “We are looking forward to celebrating the commencement of the construction phase on June 23 with all whole helped make this project possible and the community for which this gift is for. After years of behind-the-scenes work, it will be a welcome sight to see construction equipment prepare the ground and begin building!”

Construction is expected to take approximately 18 months. The new Y is projected to open in December 2023.

For more information about the new Y project, visit www.eugeneymca.org/new-y.

Media Photo/Video Opportunities

In addition to the 6 p.m. celebration with dignitaries, a ceremonial dirt turning and other festivities, media are invited to a YMCA Youth Celebration/Fairy Blessing, a fun way to highlight our focus on youth development and the importance of creating safe, fun spaces for youth to play, engage, connect and build relationships. YMCA Summer Camp staff, in training the week of June 20, will be there learning the YMCA song and how to conduct opening and closing ceremonies.

  • What: YMCA Youth Celebration/Fairy Blessing of the new Y site
  • Date: Thursday, June 23
  • Time: 1 to 1:30 p.m.
  • Place: New Y site, corner of 24th Ave. and Hilyard St. 
  • What to expect: This is a fun way to highlight our focus on youth development and the importance of creating safe, fun spaces for youth to play, engage, connect and build relationships. Summer camp staff will be in training for the summer and youth will be dancing and blessing the site with eco-friendly glitter.   
  • What: New Y groundbreaking ceremony
  • Date: Thursday, June 23
  • Time: 6 p.m.
  • Place: New Y site, corner of E. 24th Avenue and Hilyard Street
  • What to expect: A festive atmosphere, music, a short program with speakers, ceremonial dirt turning, and photo opportunities with shovels!

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June 20, 2022