Middletown, RI – The Newport County YMCA last week announced the public phase of their capital campaign, “For Community. For Generations.” that will allow the Y to renovate and expand its current facility at 792 Valley Road in Middletown.

The Y reports that they have already secured $8 million toward its $10,000,000 campaign goal during its “quiet phase” and is now asking the community to support the public phase of their $2,000,000 Community Campaign goal. 

“This is a community project that requires community support,” said Lee Merrill, Jr, YMCA Capital Campaign Co-chair in a press release. “Since 1878, the Newport County YMCA has served generations of families, providing access to resources they need to be healthy and safe. Today our kids, families, and seniors need this more than ever. That’s why we are looking to our local residents and businesses to help us make this project a reality.”

The renovations and expansions are expected to begin later this Fall, according to The Y.

In a press release, The Y says that it anticipates the project should take roughly 18 months once construction begins; however, the size, scope, and timing of the project will ultimately be determined by the generosity of the community in support of this effort. The Y intends to remain open during construction to continue to serve the community’s needs.

Plans for the new construction and renovation of the existing building include relocation and expansion of the wellness center plus more group exercise studios, a new welcoming lobby and central meeting space, new family/universal locker rooms, a state-of-the-art Squash Complex, a new Youth Development Center with enhanced Child Watch and licensed afterschool care for more than 80 children, and reconfigured parking to provide an additional 

100 spaces to improve drop off/pick up. Overall, the new Y will reflect a redesigned facility that focuses on safety, accessibility, efficiency and flexible program spaces – allowing the Y to adapt to ever-changing health needs and guidelines. 

The new Squash Complex will be the home of RhodySquash, a free program for under-resourced youth in Newport County, that offers unique educational and scholarship opportunities for higher education. The plan for the Squash Complex will house six singles courts, one doubles court, an extended viewing area, a community kitchen, and an education center.

“RhodySquash provides a way for youth to stay physically active while teaching mental stamina, confidence, and character,” said campaign volunteers and founders of Newport Community Squash in 1977, Sam & Ruth Jernigan in a press release.  “We know it’s bigger than the sport of squash, but, as a result of participating in this program and being mentored by positive role models, kids who had limited opportunities have gone on to do better in school, learned important life skills, and developed an understanding of community service. Through RhodySquash, we are building tomorrow’s leaders.”

“For more than 142 years this Y has served the children, adults, and families in our community. It is a place for people from all walks of life to come together to gather and improve their quality of life,” said Mike Miller, NCYMCA CEO in a press release. “Today is all about uniting our community and inviting the residents to join us in this exciting campaign that will ensure we can help even more people on their journey for a better life and give children the best start. I am inspired and grateful for the generosity of support we have received so far from all our wonderful donors, especially our leadership gifts from the van Beuren Charitable Foundation, the de Ramel Foundation, the Alletta Morris McBean Charitable Trust, The Champlin Foundation, The Hamilton Family Charitable Trust, and BankNewport.”

For more information about the Y’s capital campaign and how you can help, please contact Susan Piacenti, Director of Development, at 401.847.9200 x 109 or susanp@newportymca.org.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp.  Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in...