Sept. 10, 2009
FREDERICTON (CNB) - Fredericton residents will soon benefit from enhanced social, recreational and community services, thanks to the construction of a brand new YMCA facility in the city. Federal funding for the $18.5-million community centre was announced today by Premier Shawn Graham, Minister of State for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency Keith Ashfield, and YMCA representative Bud Bird.
"The YMCA plays a key role in the capital region," said Graham. "It offers a variety of programs for all ages, which supports the government's commitment to promote wellness, active living, quality of life, and self-sufficiency."
The new facility will be used for sports, physical and recreational programs, and community and social programs. The YMCA anticipates that construction of the new 5,574-sq.-metre (60,000-sq.-ft.) building will provide immediate economic stimulus, resulting in 100 construction jobs. The completed project will employ 50 full-time staff and 250 part-time staff, and is expected to inject $5 million annually into the local economy.
"Stimulating our economy and keeping people working during these tough economic times are top priorities for our government," said Ashfield. "Our government is focused on providing real results for Canadians and the communities in which they live. The support for the new YMCA will create jobs and inject capital into our economy, while providing residents in Fredericton the opportunity to promote heath and wellness for generations to come."
The new building will be located on the site of the former Albert Street School, and will promote methods of active transportation and the use of city transit services. The facility will include a wellness centre, gymnasium, squash courts, community rooms, a child-development centre and a 25-metre lap pool, plus an instructional/warm-water pool. It will be easily accessible within a 10- minute drive from all parts of the city, as well as by public transportation and walking or cycling.
"On behalf of the board of the YMCA of Fredericton, I would like to acknowledge the federal government's contribution toward building a new Y, and to express our sincere thank-you," said Karina LeBlanc, president of the Fredericton YMCA. "We have been preparing for a capital project for a number of years, and we're very excited about what a new building will mean to the Y's ability to serve the community: the capacity to serve more than twice as many children, teens, adults and families in our health and wellness programs, and to increase the financial assistance available to those in need."
The Government of Canada is contributing more than $5.2 million under the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund to support the project. The YMCA will finance the remaining costs. For the project, the Province of New Brunswick has sold a 2.6-hectare (6.5-acre) parcel of land, valued at $2.5 million, to the YMCA for $1, pending completion of legal agreements, including land transaction by the Property Management Division of Supply and Services.
Through Canada's Economic Action Plan, the federal government established the $4-billion Infrastructure Stimulus Fund that provides funding to provincial, territorial and municipal construction-ready infrastructure rehabilitation projects.
Funding will be available for two years for projects that will begin during the 2009 and 2010 construction seasons. This initiative is structured to provide funding and get work underway quickly.
Canada and New Brunswick are working together to create jobs and boost the economy, while making significant investments that help communities improve their infrastructure. Both governments have agreed to work together to ensure that these funds are delivered quickly and efficiently so that construction can begin as soon as possible.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Bruce Macfarlane, Regional Development Corporation, 506-444-4606; Chris Day, press secretary, Office of Canada's Transport and Infrastructure Minister, 613-991-0700; Infrastructure Canada, 613-948-1148.