PHOENIX -- The Phoenix South Mountain Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center is $1 million closer to its fundraising goal, thanks to a recent donation.

The Phoenix-based Armstrong Family Foundation gifted $500,000 to the center last week in response to a year-end challenge-grant appeal. Per the terms of the grant, the foundation’s gift will be matched with monies from a trust fund established by the Salvation Army Western Territory headquarters, bringing the total benefit to $1 million.

The Phoenix Kroc is one of a wave of community centers made possible through a $1.5 billion posthumous gift from Joan Kroc, the widow of McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc. The terms of that 2003 bequeathal stated that a portion of the funds used to build Kroc centers must be raised by the communities they will serve. The Phoenix Kroc was charged with raising $15 million of the facility’s expected $80 million cost through donations from the Phoenix community.

Construction on the 130,000-square-foot facility started this summer and it is expected to open in the fall of 2011. When completed, the new center will include a 5,000-square-foot exercise and fitness center, a two-story climbing wall, three NBA-sized gyms, four utility sports fields, an 8,000-square-foot indoor recreation pool and an outdoor competition pool.