My Place launches capital campaign for expansive new space

My Place (Mankato Youth Place) has launched a multi-million dollar capital campaign for a new site that will provide nearly three times the space of the current location.

The organization offers free programming for children to support success in school and help them become contributing members of the community.  The 16,000 square foot space will eventually allow My Place to double the number of children they serve, and also expand the programming.

The new My Place building at 1315 Stadium Rd will undergo a complete remodel.

The new space at 1315 Stadium Rd will include a gymnasium and classrooms with dedicated space for all ages.  The space was chosen purposefully after careful research, which showed the area was most accessible to children who needed a free place to go after school.

My Place announced a $3.2 million capital campaign Tuesday that will fund the purchase and remodel of its new building, which was purchased from the city of Mankato for a bargain price in December.  If the capital campaign successfully meets its goal, My Place will own the building debt free.  Eliminating monthly bulding payments would allow the organization to focus those dollars on staff and programming.

My Place Executive Director Erin Simmons says owning a building is important because it allows the organization to create a space that’s an exact fit for the work they do serving children, while also allowing financial sustainability.

The My Place building at 1315 Stadium Rd will nearly triple the space for the organization.

The new location will nearly triple the space of the current location, which My Place rents. The new building will provide a number of simple amenities that aren’t available at the current location, including drinking fountains throughout the space and air conditioning.  Simmons said the children are thrilled they’ll have a playground at the new location.

My Place received two donations early on from the Andreas Foundation and MEI.  Then in January, the Glen A. Taylor Foundation announced a  $750,000 gift for 2023.  If My Place successfully matches the $750,000 gift by the end of 2023, the foundation will match with another $750,000 in 2024.

Former Franklin Elementary Principal Les Koppendrayer was involved in My Place since its inception as the Boys & Girls Club.  “We saw so many kids that would make progress during the school day, but then because of some situation at home struggled, and would lose ground whenever they weren’t in school,” he said. “Many of these kids were disenfranchised,” he said.  “They didn’t feel like this was their community.  That’s why I love the name of this place.  Because it’s theirs.”

The remodel is expected to be completed and the building ready by the start of the next school year.  Simmons said the organization is prepared to sign a contract with APX Construction for the renovations, which will begin with the gym addition and an entire interior remodel.

My Place is free and there are no qualifiers for the program.  Children have a chance to have new experiences, such as music lessons, cooking club, and handball club.

“We as a community get to decide what we what for the next generation,” said Simmons.  “We can have whatever we want for this next group of kids coming up.  And then, we have to do something different.  I think that starts at My Place.”




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