The River Valley Regional YMCA has received a $2.2 million boost in funds for the construction of a new YMCA building in Williamsport. The monies are from a tax credit program administered by the U.S. Department of Treasury.
The funding came from an $8 million New Markets Tax Credit financing transaction from Commonwealth Cornerstone Group, which will result in the Y receiving $2.2 million for building construction.
"About a month ago, we were contacted by Commonwealth Cornerstone Group, CCG, who told us that we were at the top of their list to receive the credits," said Dave Fagerstrom, president and CEO of River Valley Regional YMCA.
Though just an empty lot now, this is the site of what will be the new YMCA in the city, as seen from the corner of Walnut Street and Park Avenue. In the background is the Williamsport Regional Medical Center.
Fagerstrom said the Y has been working on securing the credits for more than a year. And although he had received assurance that the cornerstone group was interested in giving the Y the credits, "nothing is done until it's done." This is especially since there was no guarantee that the group would receive the tax credits to allocate.
"We had a good feeling over six months ago, but you never know until it gets done," he said.
So when he received word Wednesday morning that the Y had indeed been awarded the credits, Fagerstrom said he was "excited."
"My reaction is I was thrilled," Fagerstrom said. "If I could do cartwheels, I would have done cartwheels all the way down the hallway. It's like any accomplishment, you feel great when it gets done."
Making up more than 20 percent of the project cost, the credits "pushed" them over the top.
"We couldn't move forward without this," Fagerstrom said.
To officially celebrate the beginning of construction of the new building, the Y is planning a ground-breaking ceremony at 12:15 p.m. Sept. 12 at the corner of Walnut and High streets, the site of the future Y building.
After five years of planning and fundraising, Fagerstrom said the event will help to "show the community the YMCA has upheld its promise."
"I think there are still people in the community that for whatever reason think the Y project isn't going to happen. Once you have the ground-breaking ceremony I think there will be people that will say, 'I guess this really is going to happen,' " Fagerstrom said.