Springfield holds African American community meeting
By Caitlin Boland

The McDuffie Progress/Caitlin Boland YMCA Augusta CEO Danny McConnell, one of the many presenters, is shown speaking at Springfield Baptist on Feb. 19.
Springfield Baptist Church hosted an African American Leadership Roundtable Community meeting on Sunday evening to help inform the attendees about different aspects of the community.
On Feb. 19, people gathered at the church to hear from representatives from the Family Y, the McDuffie County School System, the Toombs Judicial Circuit District Attorney's Office and McDuffie County. The Rev. Frederick Favors said the purpose of the community meeting was to allow the people to be informed of what's going on in their county and to be able to talk about what's going on from an informed perspective.
Danny McConnell, president and CEO of YMCA Augusta, was the first person to speak. He talked about the new Y building on East Hill Street and how it would be for all people, regardless of race, economic status or religious affiliation.
McConnell said last year, the Y gave out approximately $2 million in scholarships across the 10 locations.
He said the new Y will open on May 13, with a soft opening on April 21. He added that there will be lots of food and exhibitions and that anybody, regardless of membership, can come check out the new amenities at the grand opening.
The new building will be 37,000 square feet, with 30,000 being used for the Y and about $200,000 worth of new equipment being installed. The other 7,000 square foot will be used for possible partnerships. The Y also has 18 acres located behind the building on Ware Street that they are gathering ideas for.
"The Y is about three things - building kids, health and the community," McConnell said. "This Y will have a new child care facility near the back of the building that will rival any of the ones at the other 10 locations. If parents or grandparents want to come work out, we can take care of the children. The Thomson Y will also have the only multi-purpose dance studio out of all 10 locations thanks to a generous donor."
McConnell said the new Y will also have a pool, and they are hoping to implement swim lessons and water safety classes.
McDuffie County Manager David Crawley rounded out the program by talking about transportation efforts in the county.
The first major project Crawley talked about is the West Bypass. It will begin at the new interchange on Interstate 20, exit 169 near Three Points Road, and run to Edmunds Road near the hospital. There will be a lighted intersection on Edmunds Road, extending the road to the hospital to alleviate traffic problems on Washington Road. Crawley said the current budget is $15 million, paid for by transportation sales tax, and construction is scheduled to begin near the end of 2017.
FOR ADDITIONAL DETAILS, see the full story in the Feb. 23, 2017 issue of The McDuffie Progress. To have The McDuffie Progress delivered to your home or business each week, simply call 706-595-1601 to subscribe. Or, follow the link on our home page to subscribe.





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