Bridge Lakepoint Waunona Neighborhood center gets $2 million to build new facility

A neighborhood center on the south side is celebrating a gift from the city of Madison.

Tuesday night at Common Council, alders approved $2 million as a gift to the Bridge Lakepoint Waunona Neighborhood Center.

The center has classes and clubs for adults, seniors and kids from preschool to high school, and currently the center runs all programming out of two apartment complexes converted into multiuse spaces. The money from the city, along with funds it raises on its own, will go toward building a new space that will house all programming.

Today I toured Bridge Lakepoint Waunona Neighborhood Center. They pack A LOT into their space, but they are excited for their next move. They just got $2mil from ⁦@CityofMadison⁩ to build a new home for their programming. Can’t wait to see what they do with it! #News3Now pic.twitter.com/blC9MH4wtN

— Amy Reid (@amyreidreports) August 8, 2019

Program director Arturo Ambriz said having a new building will go a long way in terms of both current and future programs.

“We manage and do the best we can and continue to go,” Ambriz said. “We’ve just outgrown this space for many years.”

The organization is planning to raise more money to make the space the best it can be. Ambriz said people who use the center regularly have already thrown in suggestions for things they want, such as a pool or gym.

Bridge Lakepoint Waunona Neighborhood center gets $2 million to build new facility

Ambriz’s focus is bringing the monthly food pantry inside. In the current facility, there isn’t space to hold the palettes of food the center gets from Second Harvest Food Bank that it hands out to the community, so instead they set up in the parking lot, rain, shine or in 40 degrees below zero.

Linda Grant, who goes to a crochet and knitting group at the center, said she and her group are ready to help with efforts to raise money. They plan on selling goods they make at a picnic later this month.

“Two million dollars seems like a lot of money,” Grant said. “But when you’re trying to build a center that’s big enough for all the kids and all the seniors and all the adults in the community, we’re going to need a lot more money.”

Grant said she enjoys coming to the center to socialize and craft.

“It really has enhanced my life,” she said.

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