Ottawa YMCA project awarded nearly $2M in Rebuild Illinois grant money

Eleven projects, including a new YMCA facility in Ottawa, will get $16.5 million in Rebuild Illinois Regional Economic Development program grants, according to news announced today by Gov. JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

The grants are intended to fuel continued economic development across Illinois and help create at least 1,465 jobs statewide. The projects are expected to total a $75.5 million investment.

"These projects are focused on supporting key, long-term economic development priorities for our state – and doing so with an eye for boosting investment in communities that previously were too often overlooked," Pritzker said in a news release. "These local investments are yet another milestone on our journey toward the Illinois we're committed to building – where no resident is left behind."

Fehr Graham, a leading Midwest engineering and environmental firm, helped Ottawa YMCA officials apply for the grant totaling $1,990,880, the second highest funded project. Fehr Graham is also providing environmental and civil engineering services for the new 65,000-square-foot building, which includes a health care facility and classroom space. The project, which includes private donations, is expected to open in 2023.

"Construction of the new Ottawa YMCA facility will help reinvigorate the City of Ottawa's riverfront by addressing the community's vital need for a community center located in the heart of the city, while also expanding access to quality healthcare and recreation opportunities for residents across the region," said Joe Capece, Executive Director of Ottawa YMCA. "With this Rebuild Illinois Regional Economic Development grant award, our project will help spark investment and community revitalization. Our thanks to Fehr Graham for leading us through this grant fund processing."

The average grant size was $1.5 million, with all projects focused on supporting key economic development initiatives, including those that improve quality of life in communities, create jobs and add community resources like the Ottawa YMCA project.

"This Rebuild Illinois investment leverages $18 million to expand community space, access to healthcare, and recreation for residents across the Illinois Valley," said Rep. Lance Yednock, D-Ottawa, in the news release. "The Ottawa YMCA will revitalize the riverfront by bringing a much-needed community center near the heart of city, building on everything that makes Ottawa great place to live and raise a family."

For more information, read the news release.