WORK has begun on a new, state-of-the-art YMCA building in the town.
Construction work started in Carnegie Street on September 5 and the official launch of the project is this Friday.
It’s expected to take 12 to 14 months and when finished it will have business units on the ground floor with the YMCA occupying the first floor.
Hugo Dale, Chief Executive of Lurgan YMCA, said: “It’s a youth and community project in an area that suits both sides of the community.
“It’s a bigger building that will give us the opportunity to branch out into new areas. Our aim is to identify community needs that can be addressed.
“The YMCA has always been about helping young people to identify and realise their full potential. With the new building we’ll be hoping to involve the entire community.”
The new building will also house a first for Lurgan, an indoor climbing wall.
The official launch will be attended on Friday by Education Minister John O’Dowd as well as other interested parties.
The funders for the project are International Fund for Ireland, Department of Education, YMCA Reserves, Laing Trust, Clothers Workers, Garfield Weston, Henry Smith, Rank, Sport NI
and Ulster Garden Villages.
UUP Councillor Carla Lockhart was pleased to see the build underway. She said: “I am delighted to see the commencement of this building project. This has been some time in the making and I would commend all those who have worked endlessly to see the whole project brought to fruition.”
“Youth provision within our town is key to the towns growth and prosperity. This building will provide a neutral venue for all young people to use and enjoy the state of the art facilities provided within it.”
Councillor Lockhart added: “This is a great testimony of the drive and commitment to youth provision within our town and certainly Lurgan will know the long term benefits of it.
“Lurgan YMCA since 1986 has focused on marginalised disadvantaged youth at risk from drugs, alcohol, smoking, bad relationships, sectarianism, sectarian violence, antisocial behaviour, dysfunctional family life and associated poor mental health and certainly these new facilities will help with such provision.”