There are major components of the Y’s current facility that present significant repair and renovation hurdles. These costly issues, combined with the limitations of the current location, make an extensive renovation to the existing building a bad investment. The opportunities found in the adaptive reuse of and new construction on a more centrally located site present significantly greater potential for growth, reach and impact to the Y and its partners.
As successful as the Y has been working on its own and from its current location, market research and community input suggest that the Y could do and be more. To multiply resources, increase efficiencies and enhance effectiveness the Y has sought out collaborative partners whose programs, services, and reach will compliment and supplement its own. Embracing the “better together” ethos, the Y is excited to be a catalyst for collaboration and collective impact.
The Y believes that when we devote our full strength to the Y’s mission and cause, work in partnership with others, and build on our history of innovation, it can address the most pressing issues of our time unlike any other organization. In the form of its capital development project to build a new facility, outcome driven collaborations to better address community needs and the creation of a healthy living campus, the Duneland Y is acting on those beliefs.
The Y has a long history of program and service focused partnerships. Over the past year, the Y has been in conversation with several non-profit providers about facility based, program and service focused collaboration. These peer organizations offer expertise, resources, and reach that compliment and supplement the Y’s offerings. In addition, the Y’s partners ad credibility, synergy and reach to the YMCA Healthy Living Campus initiative.
At this time the Y’s projected collocated partners include the Duneland School Corporation, Jacob’s Ladder, Northshore Health Centers, Quality of Life Institute, Lakeshore Bone & Joint Institute, Porter Starke Services, and United Way of Northwest Indiana.
The Duneland YMCA is a volunteer led, staff driven, membership-based organization made up and supported by the people who live, work, and grow in the communities they serve. The Duneland Y’s Board of Directors is made up of a broad cross-section local residents and recognized leaders who are working for and through the Y to positively impact their community.
The Duneland YMCA and the Duneland School Corporation have reached an agreement to allow the YMCA to redevelop the Chesterton Middle School into the new Duneland YMCA and the YMCA Healthy Living Campus. The agreement includes redevelopment of the majority of the facility and the surrounding property. DSC will maintain an administrative presence and continue focused programming in the eastern portion of the building. The balance of the existing building will be adapted for use by the Y and its partners or demolished to make way for new construction, parking, and other use.
Any demolition, renovation, and new construction at the Chesterton Middle School cannot begin prior to June of 2024 when the majority of the facility ends its service as a school site. The YMCA is working with design and construction professionals to more fully understand the challenges and opportunities represented in the CMS building and site, finalize design and do cost modeling. Following the conclusion of its investigative, design and planning efforts, and based on available funding and philanthropic support, the YMCA will be better positioned to speak as to the start of construction and the opening of its new facility and healthy living campus.
The Duneland YMCA has moved through a comprehensive strategic planning process to learn how the organization could enhance the Y membership experience, better understand the needs of the community, and then adapt, change, and collaborate to exceed member expectations and meet community needs. These broad objectives were added to the need to address an aging facility that presents access challenges, limits programs and services and does not allow the Y to pursue collocated and program collaboration.
With clear direction, the YMCA’s Board of Directors decided to move forward with a capital project to realize the Y’s full potential as a catalyst for change, collaboration, and comprehensive community impact. To realize these goals, Y leadership is working towards the construction of a new YMCA facility and the development of the YMCA Healthy Living Campus.
The YMCA Healthy Living Campus, anchored by the new Duneland YMCA, will be, in form and function, an education, health, and social equity hub. The YMCA, along with its co-located and program partners, will offer programs, services, and resources, at and through the healthy living campus, to impact lives and strengthen the Duneland community.
The Duneland Family YMCA is a mission based, cause driven, 501(c)(3) nonprofit social service organization. Annually, the Y serves over 5,000 Duneland community residents through membership, programs, outreach, collaboration, and events. As a member of the US YMCA Movement, the Duneland Y is one of the nation’s 2,500 plus Y locations, serving 10,000+ communities across all fifty states. The YMCA welcomes people of all faiths, races, abilities, ages, and incomes. At the YMCA, no one is turned away for inability to pay.
YMCA membership, programs, and services are available to everyone in the Duneland communities, regardless of their faith, race, ability, age, or income. At the Y, no one is turned away because of their ability to pay. In addition to the programs and services offered by the YMCA, the Y’s collocated will offer access and opportunities on and through the YMCA Healthy Living Campus. On-site amenities are projected to include outdoor walking paths, gathering spaces, and passive program options that will be accessible and available to the entire community, regardless of affiliation with the YMCA or any of its partners. Additionally, the YHLC initiative includes reimagining the existing open space and creating outdoor community space.
How can members of the Duneland Community, get involved and support the YMCA Healthy Living Campus project?
Input from YMCA members, Duneland community residents, and local employers will be necessary to develop programs, services, and resources delivered at and through YMCA Healthy Living Campus. Subscribing to the YHLC newsletter will provide information about engagement opportunities and updates on the timeline, events, and news.
Duneland Y members will benefit from upgraded facilities, expanded program offerings and a more easily accessed facility. Current and future Y members may also be able to take advantage of to be determined benefits derived from the YMCA’s collocated partners. Any potential increase in the cost of a YMCA membership or a fee increase for Y program offerings has not been determined at this time.
How will the YMCA pay for the construction of a new facility and the creation of the YMCA Healthy Living Campus?
The Duneland YMCA will pursue a combination of public, private, corporate, and philanthropic support to cover the cost of the renovation and adaptive reuse of the portion of the Chesterton Middle School building and the construction of new square footage. The YMCA will also draw resources for construction and operations from its collocated partners.