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Federal money could help local YMCA programs

Money to help the Keene Family YMCA expand its pre-school and after-school programs is part of a bill to be considered by the U.S. Senate.

The funds - $300,000 in all - were secured by U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., and are included in the Fiscal Year 2011 Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations bill headed to a vote in the Senate.

The programs will expand at the YMCA's new 67,000-square-foot building planned to open on Summit Road in West Keene next year.

"Our new building will enable us to grow our childcare program by 50 percent, meeting critical demand for high-quality affordable childcare. In addition, we will be better able to provide additional programs for school-aged youth and teens. We are very grateful to Senator Shaheen for her commitment to our community," said JoAnn Fenton, co-chairman of the YMCA's EverYone Campaign.

The money would be a grant.

The YMCA has raised more than $10 million toward the $15 million cost of the new facility, to replace the current building on Roxbury Street, and has received a $4.5 million loan from the USDA Rural Development Program.