The York Jewish Community Center has a $5 million plan for meeting the increasing demands of people seeking childcare and wellness services.
The organization, at 2000 Hollywood Drive, plans to start a capital campaign at the end of this year to cover the cost of expanding its child care and fitness facilities.
The campaign was officially announced by Craig Milsten, JCC's board president, during the center's recent 88th annual meeting.
"There is a tremendous demand in the community ... for the particular brand of programming the JCC offers," Milsten said in a statement. "We are very proud of the atmosphere in this building. I think that's the reason you can walk the halls of the JCC and be greeted with smiles by the most diverse community in York."
The board has asked local businessmen Tim Grumbacher and Tom Wolf to chair the campaign. The two men also are past board members, said Randy Freedman, the JCC's executive director.
Freedman said the silent phase of the capital campaign begins in December, with donations coming from leading contributors. The public phase will begin in March 2014, she said.
The JCC is currently working on land development plans that have to be approved by officials in both Spring Garden and York townships, as the center's property spans both municipalities, Freedman said.
The expansion plans involve adding four new classrooms to the center's child care wing and making space for cardio and group exercise in the fitness area, according to Milsten.
With a child care wing expansion, the center could have room to enroll 55 additional children in the program, which has a waiting list of at least 150 families annually.
"We understand the importance of early childhood education and what it means to the (success) of the community, and the need to have the ability to reach that many more families to provide the highest quality of childhood education," Freedman said.
With the fitness center plans, the JCC is providing more space for people who crowd into the exercise area during peak hours of 5 a.m. and 3 to 8 p.m., though there are people using the facility throughout the day, she said.
Freedman said that she, the JCC staff and the center's board are passionate about meeting the community's needs and about providing a welcoming place for people from diverse backgrounds to gather.
"The York JCC is the only JCC in the country where 90 percent of our membership is not Jewish," she said. "With JCC, Jewish is our first name and community is our middle name. We're here for both our communities."
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