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Germanna sees center at YMCA

Posted on Wednesday, April 3, 2013 at 3:51 pm

Caroline Family YMCA is beginning to take shop next to Ladysmith Village.

Caroline Family YMCA is beginning to take shape next to Ladysmith Village.

MILFORD – Germanna Community College administrators told county officials they hope to have a “full blown 40-acre campus in Caroline County” someday.

And they wanted to get started now, they told the Board of Supervisors at the panel’s regular March 26 meeting. College officials want to partner with the new Caroline Family YMCA to add a two-classroom center to the new building, which is under construction adjacent to Ladysmith Village. They asked the supervisors to borrow $200,000 for the addition.

Germanna, part of the Virginia Community College System, serves residents of Fredericksburg and Caroline, Culpeper, King George, Madison, Orange, Spotsylvania and Stafford counties.

“Our goal is to triple the number of students going from high school to college,” said Bruce L. Davis, liaison to Germanna’s president, David A. Sam.

“Caroline is very important to us,” Davis told the supervisors. “As Caroline County grows, we want to grow with it.”

The college wants to start with a two-classroom center at the YMCA now under construction in Ladysmith, Davis said. The YMCA is still in early stages of construction, and college officials would like to modify the design and add on, he said. Officials with the Rappahannock YMCA could not be reached for comment on Germanna’s proposal.

Germanna opens centers in areas of high traffic near an interstate highway and with adequate parking, and the YMCA meets those preferences, noted Davis.

“If you say no to the YMCA, we will look for another place to hang our shingle,” he said.

“We would love to have Germanna as a part of our community,” Supervisor Floyd Thomas, chairman of the board of Supervisors, told Davis.

Jeanne L. Wesley, Germanna’s vice president of workforce, community & institutional advancement, talked to the supervisors about borrowing $200,000 to build the two-classroom addition. The college foundation would raise the funds and repay the county, she said.

“I don’t know that we have an additional $200,000,” said Supervisor Jeff Sili.

The supervisors borrowed $5 million to build the YMCA. Supervisor Wayne Acors, who  pledged to lead a capital campaign to raise the funds to reimburse the county, noted the construction contract was for about $4.6-7 million.

Davis noted that GCC has a “very successful early entry program with Caroline High School. It’s a model for much of the state.” Five percent of the students at the Fredericksburg campus are Caroline students.

“Our goal is that we want a big campus here, but we’ve got to take baby steps,” Davis said.

Wesley told supervisors that a two-classroom center would contribute to Caroline’s economic development and continuing education. Caroline residents “could leave work and go to classes,” she said. The center would also be for people “who’ve lost their job and need to upgrade their skills.” Businesses in Caroline could send their employees to the GCC center for training, she added.

Linda J. Moyer, a Ruther Glen real estate agent, told supervisors that she has served on the board of the college’s foundation for seven years. “We are willing and able to help you raise money for the YMCA,” said Moyer.