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Lafayette Family YMCA growing

The Lafayette Family YMCA branch downtown has been open for a little more than a year.

And Executive Director Paul Cramer says the organization’s leadership is happy with results so far. Over the past year, he says the YMCA added about 1,000 memberships from individuals and families.

He says a lot of area businesses also are expressing interest in joining.

"Corporations downtown are really focusing on the health and wellness of their employees, and trying to look at their bottom line with health care expenses and how they can improve that and engage their employees."

Cramer thinks the membership numbers will grow this year to about 1,500 for the downtown location. More than 7,000 people are YMCA members, which is a record set earlier this year.

Cramer says part of the success is due to the downtown facility at 3rd and Main streets in the Renaissance Place Building, which also houses Ivy Tech Community College classrooms and offices.

He says that partnership between the YMCA and Ivy Tech seems to be paying off.

"The Ivy Tech students can use their financial aid to pay for their YMCA membership when they register, so that's a nice avenue. And when we're at our new building, we'll be able to provide onsite childcare for the students while they're in their classes, which will be another benefit for them."

The YMCA is designing a new building situated next to Ivy Tech’s main campus on South Creasy Lane, in partnership with the community college. The local Junior Achievement chapter and IU Health Arnett also will have space in that facility.

Cramer says a fundraising campaign should begin soon for that project.

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