A rendering of what a new YMCA on Kent’s East Hill will look like. COURTESY GRAPHIC, City of Kent

A rendering of what a new YMCA on Kent’s East Hill will look like. COURTESY GRAPHIC, City of Kent

YMCA board gives $2 million to help keep Kent facility on track

Donation cuts the organization’s campaign fundraising shortfall for new Y on East Hill

The YMCA of Greater Seattle board decided Tuesday to give $2 million toward a new Y on Kent’s East Hill to help keep the project moving forward.

“The of Greater Seattle secured a seven-figure gift that is helping to close the funding gap for the Kent Y,” said Nathan Phillips, regional vice president for the YMCA of Greater Seattle, in a phone interview. “It narrows the gap significantly, but there is still a lot of work to do.”

The board’s Finance Committee will review the Kent project over the next few weeks and if the committee is comfortable with the fundraising plan, the board will green light the Kent Y.

Phillips told the Kent City Council last month that there is about a $5 million shortfall for the project because YMCA fundraising was about $3 million behind its goal of $26 million and escalating construction costs had added another $2 million to build the facility at city park property near Southeast 248th Street and 104th Avenue Southeast.

“We still have another $3 million to raise before we open the doors,” Phillips said about a potential 2019 opening and groundbreaking this summer and he added the Y of Greater Seattle and Kent volunteer support group are confident the goal can be reached.

Kent Y volunteers are reaching out to Kent donors in an effort to close the budget gap.

Kent is part of the YMCA of Greater Seattle’s $172 million capital fundraising campaign, Phillips said. An undisclosed donor gave about $2 million to the campaign and the board decided to put that money toward the Kent project.

The total project cost is estimated at $37.2 million. The YMCA is paying $26.1 million or 71 percent of the costs with the city paying $11.1 million or 29 percent of the costs, according to city documents.

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