Collaborative Effort REACHes New Heights
YMCA of Greater Dayton facilities, such as the Huber Heights YMCA pictured above.
A staple in Greene County since 1857, the Xenia YMCA soon will become a one-stop shop for addressing the community’s educational, healthcare and workforce needs.
The YMCA of Greater Dayton, in collaboration with Central State University, the City of Xenia, Clark State Community College, Kettering Health Network and the Xenia Adult Recreation and Services Center (XARSC), plans to break ground in southwest Xenia later this year on the REACH (recreation, education, activity, community and health) Center of Greene County.
“Healthy minds and healthy people make for healthier communities,” said Dale Brunner, president and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Dayton. “Our hope is to facilitate a healthier, more vibrant citizenry who can enhance and expand the region’s vitality, both recreationally and economically.”
“We couldn’t have navigated the initial negotiations or met the facility needs for each organization without the Foundation’s support through the Nonprofit Alliance Support Program.”
-Dale Brunner, president and CEO, YMCA of Greater Dayton
A shared-use facility, the REACH Center will encompass 80,000 square feet, with separate sections for each partner’s unique functions. Traditional YMCA amenities, such as a 25-yard swimming pool and exercise rooms, are planned, as is a warm-water therapy pool for individuals suffering from arthritis and other disabilities. Clark State and Central State will partner to provide satellite educational classes, as well as access for youth participating in the College Plus early college program. With an anticipated 23 percent growth in the community’s senior adult population by 2020, XARSC will move its existing operations into the Center and provide expanded and more varied offerings. Kettering Health Network plans to build a new facility on the property, with primary care, diagnostic and rehabilitation services.
services will expand the YMCA’s offerings for
senior adults, as well as families.
“Not only will we provide more services to our Greene County residents, but we’ll work with our educational partners to offer students onsite clinical experiences and help place new graduates into health-related positions,” said Terry Burns, executive vice president of Kettering Health Network. “By working together we’re going to have a bigger impact in the community than any one of the partners could do on their own.”
To help achieve this vision, Kettering Health Network stepped forward with a generous donation of land for the building, plus the City of Xenia made a $1 million commitment. Additional partner contributions, leases and grants have been obtained toward the project’s $17 million goal, as well.
Since a high percentage of Xenia’s population falls below the federal poverty level (26 percent compared to 14 percent for the state), the project also secured an Ohio New Market Tax Credit totaling $8.5 million through CityWide Development Corporation’s Dayton Region New Market Fund. This represents the first time a tax credit was awarded in Greene County. Through the New Market Fund, federal tax credits are received for investments made in businesses or economic developments located in low-income areas.
To raise the remaining $2.5 million needed, the partners have launched a capital campaign, which recently received a $225,000 grant from the Harry A. Toulmin, Jr., and Virginia B. Toulmin Fund of The Dayton Foundation. Additionally, the Foundation provided initial funding in 2015 through its Nonprofit Alliance Support Program to hire Strategic Leadership Associates as an independent consultant to help the collaboration’s strategic discussions take shape.
“Since the late 1990s, we’ve collaborated with other nonprofits at five YMCA locations, but the REACH Center is by far our largest project in terms of the number of partners,” Dale Brunner said. “We couldn’t have navigated the initial negotiations or met the facility needs for each organization without the Foundation’s support through the Nonprofit Alliance Support Program. This was a vital piece of the process.”
“Our aging population is an active, vital part of the community, and this collaboration allows us to increase our service capacity and provide more varied activities.”
-Judy Baker, executive director, Xenia Adult Recreation and Services Center
The concept for the REACH Center started in 2014 as a result of Play Xenia, a community-based needs assessment that identified a new regional wellness and recreation facility as a top priority for the city’s future.
Kettering Health Network; Dr. Alton Johnson, Central State
University; Judy Baker, Xenia Adult Recreation and Services Center;
Dale Brunner, YMCA of Greater Dayton; Dr. Jo Blondin, Clark State
Community College; and Brent Merriman, City of Xenia
“The REACH Center will put us on the map for meeting core needs today and launching us into meeting the needs of tomorrow,” said Brent Merriman, manager of the City of Xenia. “The partnership furthers our ability to provide a healthier workforce, attract new employers and support a better quality of life.”
“Many of our Xenia members were born in this community and have used the YMCA since they were kids – and their parents and even their grandparents before them,” Dale Brunner added. “More than a gym, our current Xenia structure has served as a gathering spot and, at times, an emergency response shelter for more than 60 years. Our new facility will provide the next generation of YMCA members with even more services and opportunities.”
Together, Clark State Community College and Central State University will expand workforce development programs in health-related fields in Xenia, which has one of the lowest high school graduation rates in Greene County.
“The benefits of this collaboration are critical to the students and the community we serve,” said Dr. Jo Blondin, president of Clark State Community College. “This center will serve all of Greene County, resulting in a healthier community and a more educated workforce, which are the keys to regional prosperity.”
Said Dr. Alton Johnson, dean of the College of Science and Engineering and director of Land Grant Programs for Central State University, “With our land grant status, which qualifies the university for national agriculture education dollars, we’ll use the REACH Center to further our extension programs in youth and economic development, family consumer sciences, agriculture and natural resources. It’s incumbent upon us to have a facility like this where all the partners work together to engage our citizens and improve their wellbeing.”
Clark State Community College to partner on workforce development
programs in health-related fields.
For both the Xenia YMCA and XARSC, moving into the REACH Center also resolves their current issues regarding aging buildings and inadequate space to fulfill their missions.
“The volume of our services has grown dramatically in recent years – with more than 30,000 home-delivered meals provided last year alone. We also transported seniors over 250,000 miles for medical appointments and provided over 4,000 hours of homemaking services,” said Judy Baker, executive director of XARSC. “Our aging population is an active, vital part of the community, and this collaboration allows us to increase our service capacity and provide more varied activities.”
According to Dale Brunner, the REACH Center is expected to add up to 150 full- and part-time jobs, with additional indirect jobs added in the years to come. Expanded degree offerings by Clark State and Central State will help fill in-demand jobs in healthcare, furthering the economic impact of this partnership.
“The opportunity to build a new YMCA and combine resources with such outstanding partners in Greene County will have positive results for the community,” Dale said. “We’re on the right track, and we can’t wait to open our doors.”
Watch a video about the REACH Center to learn more about this project.
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