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Laurier Brantford YMCA celebrates students’ contribution
Undergraduate students from Laurier’s Brantford campus were recognized for their $3.6-million contribution to the new Laurier Brantford YMCA Athletic & Recreation Centre today. The celebration included a public skate in Harmony Square. Joining the students on the ice were local youth, YMCA volunteers, Brantford community members, senior officials at the university and the Golden Hawk, Laurier’s mascot.
"It felt really important that students continue to positively impact a city that has been our home for many years,” said Annie Constantinescu, president and CEO of the Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union. “We’re proud to make a contribution that will benefit not only future students of the Brantford campus, but the entire community for years to come.” The Students’ Union is the collective representative of undergraduate students, which leads advocacy, service and programs to enhance student life at Laurier.
The new athletics and recreation facility is a joint venture between Laurier and the YMCA of Hamilton/Burlington/Brantford. The facility will serve both Laurier students and members from Brantford, Brant County and Six Nations, strengthening both the physical and social health of the entire community.
"This contribution by our Brantford undergraduate students illustrates the important role community plays in students’ education,” said Max Blouw, president and vice-chancellor at Laurier, who joined the students on the rink. “This contribution is more than support of a new recreation complex. It speaks to our students’ commitment to the Laurier student experience, to our school and to the Brantford community. It is a transformative act in the history of our university and in the continued revitalization of Brantford.”
The partnership between Laurier and the YMCA allows the two organizations to bring a much-needed athletics and recreation facility to downtown Brantford. The new complex will include an aquatic centre with two pools for teaching, fitness, competitions, therapy and leisure, multi-purpose spaces for group fitness classes, social, educational and cultural programming, a health and wellness centre with treadmills, ellipticals, stationary bikes, weights and more, and a large gymnasium with retractable seating for 1,200 spectators for sport and recreation training, competitions and functions.
The Laurier Brantford YMCA Athletic & Recreation Centre will be built on the south side of Colborne Street, adjacent to Harmony Square. In addition to the Laurier students’ contribution, municipal, provincial and federal governments have pledged nearly $40 million to support the $58.4 million facility. Construction is scheduled to begin this summer.
Jim Commerford, president and CEO of the YMCA of Hamilton/Burlington/Brantford, also expressed his thanks to the students.
“This contribution will make a lasting impact for both the future students of Laurier and the community as a whole. Our university years are a brief, yet powerful period in our lives. Through your commitment, you have left a legacy for this community that will extend far beyond your time at Laurier.”