From providing childcare to after-school programming to health, fitness, and wellness services for seniors, the Newport County YMCA (NCYMCA) has been a community asset to the people of Aquidneck Island for over 144 years.
Today, U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse joined NCYMCA CEO Mike Miller for a tour of the YMCA’s ongoing renovation project, which includes 34,000 square feet of new building additions and renovations to the existing facility.
Reed and Whitehouse included a $1 million federal earmark in the fiscal year 2022 appropriations law to help the YMCA with facility upgrades that focus on its mission of providing everyone in the community a safe, accessible facility that offers education, health, nutrition, and wellness programs.
The $1 million earmark is part of a $15 million capital program that YMCA undertook to renovate the facility for the first time since 1974. This renovation and expansion project will allow NCYMCA to better serve the more than 13,000 annual members, program participants, and visitors with new, inclusive programming opportunities.
“The Newport YMCA has always been a special place. It’s a community center, an education and child care center, a sport center, and a wellness center all rolled into one. It offers a multitude of opportunities for the young and old and people from all walks of life. This renovation project is a real win for the community and I’m proud to be part of the team to help make it happen,” said Senator Reed.
“The Newport County YMCA is a great community resource for Aquidneck Islanders,” said Senator Whitehouse. “I’m pleased to team up with Senator Reed to help get the expansion and renovation of the NCYMCA over the finish line. The state-of-the-art NCYMCA is now well-positioned to serve the health, education, and wellness needs of the community for decades to come.”
“We are honored to have received these federal funds for our capital project. The Y has such an impact in our community and with the expansion of the YMCA will further our mission in Newport County. It is important to have a place where the people can gather and focus on building a stronger community together. Since 1878, the Newport County YMCA has served as a catalyst for helping people reach their fullest potential in spirit, mind and body. Thank you, Senators Reed and Whitehouse, for their support to move the YMCA forward,” said NCYMCA CEO Mike Miller.
The federal earmark helped build 7,752 square feet of flexible, multipurpose space: an education center, community kitchen, two multipurpose classrooms, and two group exercise studios. These renovations are part of a larger effort to expand the YMCA’s operational space from 50,000 to over 80,000 square feet.
Phase I of the project was completed in July of this year, and Phase II is set to be completed in January. The YMCA is open to the public as Phase II construction continues.
It took NCYMCA four years to raise the funds necessary for the project from private donors and charitable organizations.