Ad Spot

Expansion underway at Niles-Buchanan YMCA location

NILES — The Niles-Buchanan YMCA, 905 N. Front St., is visibly growing.

The $2.6 million expansion is underway at the location, with walls going up this week visible from the parking lot.

The expansion was fully funded in pledges and payments, and according to Jill Haboush, YMCA of Greater Michiana’s chief development officer, the construction is on track for its March 1, 2021, completion, despite the groundbreaking being pushed from April to June due to COVID-19.

“We have been raising funds for this initiative for the last four and a half years,” Haboush said. “We have had a few of our own delays, and then the coronavirus slowed it down.”

The expansion will bring approximately 13,700 additional square feet of space for a full-size gymnasium, a youth center, a teen center and a fitness room.

Prior to the expansion, and COVID-19 mandates closing the YMCA for months, Haboush said the location was operating at capacity.

“All of our space was very full,” she said. “Our cardio rooms, our studios — we were using every nook and cranny. We had a little area blocked off for personal training.”

The expansion will provide extra space for the fitness area, and the gymnasium will allow for a plethora of activities to be hosted. Activities like open gym time, basketball, fitness classes and pickleball will be hosted in the new space.

“That extra space will be used for keeping our community healthy and strong,” Haboush said.

The youth and teen rooms will help supplement the childcare offerings from the YMCA. The youth room will help give more age appropriate activities and interactions for children from 5 to 12 years old. The teen room will accommodate children 13 years old and up.

“The youth room will be set up with an arts and crafts area, as well as hands-on science, technology, engineering and mathematics activities,” Haboush said. “It’s actually all still coming together. We know we want to partner with some of our current partners with our summer program.”

Haboush said programs like the 4H and STEM curriculums, in addition to partnering with a local library, are things staff hope to accomplish with offerings in the new spaces.

“There is just so much opportunity, so once we get into our youth program, we will start to determine what that looks like,” Haboush said. “Ultimately, the goal is to provide a safe environment for youth when they are not in school.”

The Niles-Buchanan YMCA is open during the construction.

Cass County

Two killed in Cass County house fire

Edwardsburg

Facebook matching offers ESC new opportunity on Giving Tuesday

Business

Sister Lakes Brewing Company to open Town Hall event space

Cassopolis

Cassopolis set to take a Christmas Cruise

Cassopolis

Village of Cassopolis approves resolution to co-sign EDA Grant for MEC

Business

Cassopolis manufacturer donates to ACTION Ministries

Cass County

Woodlands receives grant to provide support to inmates facing addiction

Education

Niles fine arts teacher awarded grant

Dowagiac

Dowagiac nonprofit donates Thanksgiving baskets to families in need

Giving

Drive-up Thanksgiving event serves 300

Cass County

Police investigating suspicious death of 29-year-old found in vehicle

Berrien County

Berrien County Farm Bureau donates turkeys to families in need

Berrien County

LMC continues remote delivery options for spring semester

Berrien County

23 animals adopted during Honor Credit Union’s Adoption Days at Berrien County Animal Control

Berrien County

Holidays, COVID-19 pose mental health stresses, experts say

News

Hometown Christmas at Amtrak Deport canceled

Berrien County

Niles MSP Post welcomes new commander

DEVELOPING NEWS

Niles native shot during altercation with New Mexico police

Dowagiac

Pokagon Band, Four Winds Casinos donate food to families in need

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Berrien, Van Buren counties report additional COVID-19 deaths

News

City finalizing plans on outdoor dining district

Cass County

Cass County Chief Judge receives lifetime achievement award from the Michigan Supreme Court

Business

Dowagiac restaurants rely on alternative service options to make ends meet

Cassopolis

Cass County Medical Care Facility staff boost spirits amid COVID-19