Site work will begin this month on the Lake Norman area's newest YMCA, Sally's Y in Denver.
YMCA of Greater Charlotte leaders and the Sally's Y board gave final approval last week for construction to begin on the 22,000-square-foot project. An official ground breaking ceremony is scheduled for April 24.
Joining Carolinas Medical Center-East Lincoln, Sally's Y will become the second occupant of the 150-acre Forney Creek Park development near four-lane N.C. 16 and Optimist Club Road. The YMCA is scheduled to open in January.
Sally's Y is named for the late Sally McKenzie Clark, 19, who was killed when a drunk driver hit her car in 2004.
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A successful five-year capital fundraising campaign has generated $7million in pledged support to construct the first phase of the project, YMCA officials announced.
"The financial and emotional support of the community has been incredibly overwhelming," Sally Clark's mother, Jo Clark, said in a news release. "I am incredibly thankful that Sally's gentle spirit and unwavering faith will continue to live on through a YMCA built and named in her honor."
The YMCA leadership also announced it was close to selecting a general contractor.
Sally's Y will include cardiovascular and strength training equipment; group exercise classes; a gymnasium; various children's activities, including swimming lessons, child care, summer camps and sports; special needs programs; a chapel; environmental education programming; an outdoor water park; and eight miles of biking, walking and jogging trails protected by the Catawba Lands Conservancy.
The original 38,000-square-foot site plan, developed in 2006, has since been adjusted to a "phased construction" approach that will progress as the community continues to grow until it can sustain the operating costs of a larger YMCA, said Ron Johnston, YMCA operational vice president.
Eventually, Sally's Y could include such amenities as an indoor pool, he said.
The April 24 groundbreaking at 1601 Forney Creek Parkway will feature refreshments, children's games and inflatables, musical entertainment, nature trail tours and other family activities.
On April 25, Sally's Y will host its third annual Ride for Sally's Y in conjunction with the New Balance Girls on the Run 5K Trail Run.
The 25K, 50K and 100K bike rides will begin at 1 p.m. and benefit Sally's Y. The trail run will start at 1:30 p.m., benefiting Girls on the Run of Lincoln County. Register at
www.sportoften.com or on site from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. April 25.
Charter memberships to Sally's Y will be available in September with no joining fee and no contracts. Financial assistance is available for those who qualify.
Details: www.ymcacharlotte .org/sallys .