From The Director

Update Regarding the Northeast Y

The City of Pensacola and the YMCA of Northwest Florida have worked together for years to serve the community. After seven months of negotiations, the Pensacola City Council approved our latest partnership, which involves a land exchange of the Northeast YMCA on Langley Avenue for a portion of city-owned property on Summit Boulevard near the Vickrey Center. One more hurdle remains, but we are optimistic that in mid-July, the community will benefit with better services from both the City and the YMCA.

Under the agreement, the YMCA will run the afterschool and summer day camp programs, while the City will focus on youth sports programs. The agreement will minimize the loss of heritage oak trees, maintain the current dog park, include a walking track at the soccer complex, and commit to a traffic study to determine ways to manage heavy traffic through the Scenic Heights neighborhood.

Both the Y and the City believe that this project will improve and expand services to residents while eliminating duplication of programs. The Y will offer licensed afterschool and summer day camp in the Vickrey Center through a lease agreement with the City. The Y plans to build a new wellness facility with a pool on the half-acre parcel of land adjacent to Vickrey that the City is giving to the Y. In exchange, the City will receive the Y’s five acres on Langley Avenue to construct a youth soccer complex.

The Y can serve all the youth who currently attend both afterschool programs and anticipates capacity to serve even more children. The cost of camp will remain the same, and the Y will include transportation from four nearby schools. In addition, the Y will continue to offer financial assistance to any family in need. Registration for the Y’s fall afterschool program is now open.

The Y’s Board of Directors will set a timeline for the development and construction of the new Y. We know conceptually the program elements that will be included, but so far it has been premature to invest resources in determining the design. The Y will manage a process of open forums to seek community input that will ensure the best outcome for the community. The City will begin construction of the soccer fields as soon as possible.

By Michael Bodenhausen, CEO of the YMCA of Northwest Florida

Our Mission: To put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.