THE LOCAL Y
A PART OF THE FINDLAY
COMMUNITY FOR OVER 125 YEARS
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE FINDLAY YMCA
1888: Findlay YMCA Incorporated – Located on East Main Cross Street.
1897: moved to the Cass Building on South Main Street. – Moved to East Sandusky St.
1935: The Findlay YMCA bought Camp Sandusky
1960: Fire destroyed the YMCA building at East Sandusky Street.
1964: A new facility built on the corner of East Lincoln St. and East St.
1970: A gymnasium, two more handball/racquetball courts and pool were added .
1970’s: Land purchased for camp programming, later named after Ray Mosshart, General Secretary of the YMCA from 1933-1979.
1981: The Findlay Racquet Center purchased by the YMCA
1994: In October the YMCA enlists the help of the community to develop its first five-year Strategic Plan, resulting in six major goals being identified in the areas of
a. Facility Development d. Membership Development
b. Program Development e. Marketing
c. Financial Development f. Personnel Development
A committee structure identified 59 action steps, which they believed would have to be accomplished in order to achieve the six goals identified in the plan before the year 2000.
1995: Expands in house child care from 40 children to 75 children in response to the most recent U.W. Needs Assessment
1996: The YMCA expands childcare services again and renovates the facility to accommodate up to 193 children in house. Planning for a capital campaign begins with a Community Program Needs Assessment.
1998: YMCA purchases and renovates the Marathon Oil Pipeline facility and the YMCA Child Development Center opens and serves over 300 children daily
1999: Capital Campaign and Renovations to the Downtown facility begin
2000: By September a successful capital campaign raised $6,500,000 and $7,200,000 was invested in the renovation and expansion of the downtown facilities.
2001: The new facility opens in June
2002: An East Branch development Committee was formed to start gathering data from the community regarding the planned development of the East Branch facility.
2003: After conducting a community Program Needs Assessment the East Branch Development Committee provided results to the YMCA Administrative Board and a plan for renovations was begun. The YMCA hired Charles Associates, Inc. to perform as Construction Manager to the project. Work began on Phase I and Phase II of the intended renovations to the East Branch and a quiet campaign to raise $500,000 toward the completion of Phase III was begun.
2004: The YMCA and Blanchard Valley Regional Health Center entered into an agreement that would provide the YMCA an easement to access 40’ of BVHA land north of the East Branch facility to build an access road to the newly designed facility. $500,000 was raised toward Phase III construction and work began. The East Branch closed completely from June 27, 2004 until October, when the tennis courts were re-opened.
2005: The entire East Branch facility became available. The new facilities included five indoor tennis courts, a TechnoGym fitness Center, free weight room, all-purpose room used for Judo and Cycling Programs, aerobic room, locker rooms and parking for 85 cars.
2007: The Mary Brenner Child Development Center went through a renovation to replace outdated heating and air conditioning systems.
Flooding of the Blanchard River causes the worst flood damage in 100 years. YMCA staff join the city’s rescue teams using the YMCA as a point of shelter for responders and YMCA buses as transportation for flood victims being moved to the CUBE. The YMCA flooded with 6.5 feet of water, destroying all mechanical systems, meeting rooms and offices on the lower level and forcing the YMCA to close for two weeks before operations were to continue.
2008: The recession took hold of Findlay and any plans of rebuilding after the flood were postponed. In the face of the poor economy the YMCA instead elected to reduce membership fees in an effort to provide residents better access to continues services. Offices were rebuilt on the first floor where a chapel and youth department once stood.
2009: The YMCA continues to subsidize membership in a poor economy and a strategic planning process begins to address the next three years of recovery from the floods and the impact of the recession.
2010: The YMCA turned to meeting its social responsibilities, addressing hardships that came because of the floods and the poor economy. The YMCA took over operation of the Riverside Community Swimming Pool, and the City Day Camp Program when the City of Findlay announced they could no longer run these facilities and programs.
2011: The YMCA Board of Directors performed a feasibility study with the help of Jerold Panas, Linzey & Partners to determine if the community would support a capital campaign to repair the flood damaged YMCA and erect a new Youth wing to serve the children of the Findlay community. The results of the Feasibility Study were positive, but the board elected to postpone the project until local economic conditions improved and to allow other campaigns underway in Findlay to complete their projects.
A Feasibility Study was begun and scheduled for completion by July. The results of the study would determine if the YMCA was positioned properly and the community ready for a capital campaign effort to build a new wing onto the YMCA that would address the needs of our community’s youth.
2012: Russ Gartner, Executive Director of the Findlay YMCA since June 1994 retired at the end of the year. In October Brent Finlay from the Chicago Metropolitan YMCA was named the new CEO of the Findlay Family YMCA.
The YMCA assumed responsibility for a new program initiative called Feed a Child, a program that would feed children on weekends who might otherwise go hungry without the support of the school lunch program that sustained them during the school week.
A new three-year strategic plan was officially adopted. The plan highlights youth as a priority and the YMCA turns its attention to creating a new place for Findlay youth to call their own. A citywide youth program needs assessment involved over 750 youth in identifying what kids of Findlay want and need. A youth strategic planning workshop followed. A plan to move toward a capital campaign to build a new facility to meet these needs was underway by the end of 2010, with a Feasibility Study being first on the agenda for the coming year.
2013: A new 10 year Strategic Plan was officially created to lead the YMCA through 2023.
The YMCA purchased the final two homes adjacent to the Downtown YMCA for future expansion needs.
2014: The Y Feed-A-Child program was placed the umbrella of the Halt Hunger Initiative of the United Way.
The 15th YMCA Black Swamp Classic Golf outing will provide resources to fund Youth Development and the Y’s NEW Youth Obesity Prevention Initiative.
November – YMCA Camp Mosshart was sold.
2015: The Downtown branch expanded the parking lot for an additional 40 cars.
East Branch Tennis arena was remodeled with proceeds from the Raising a Racquet Capital campaign .
The Y purchased three homes on Hardin to provide space for future facility expansion. In July the East Branch metal roof and gutter system replaced the original roof with a bright blue metal roof product along with new landscaping and building signage.
The Capital Steering committee has been meeting to prepare a vibrant vision for the Y’s future and a grant was received from the Community Foundation to orchestrate conceptual plans and a feasibility study.
The Y announces the development of a New Youth Physical Activity Center at the Downtown Branch with spring completion funded by the Black Swamp Classic of Golf to reduce Youth Obesity and inspire youth and families to be active.