For more than a decade, the Morris Community YMCA has been serving residents in Grundy County by offering programs in the areas of Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. To further grow its impact in the community, the Morris Community YMCA announced plans for the development of a new full-facility on DuPont Avenue. Initial plans for the new YMCA facility include an aquatics center, a gymnasium, meeting and gathering spaces, a state- of-the-art fitness facility, group exercise studios, a demonstration kitchen, and outdoor space for summer camps, youth sports, and before and after school programming.
The YMCA is excited to partner with the residents of Grundy County to facilitate the grassroots efforts needed to open a full-facility YMCA in Morris. For the past year, a Capital Campaign Leadership Cabinet, which is comprised of local YMCA volunteers, has been working diligently behind the scenes to attract major investors and strategic partners to the project.
While the YMCA hopes to open the new facility within the next several years, the size, scope and timing will ultimately be determined by the generosity of the community in support of this project. The Capital Campaign recently received a major boost thanks to the announcement of a lead investment from the City of Morris.
“We are honored and very humbled to receive the news of the City’s support for this project,” said Morris Community YMCA Executive Director Missy Durkin. “The City has been by our side since we first opened our doors in 2015 on Wauponsee Street. With the City’s support and the dedication of our amazing volunteers, donors and community partners, we are one step closer to expanding our footprint in Grundy County,” added Durkin.
The YMCA is also excited to confirm that it will continue its partnership with another prominent community organization in its future facility. Since opening its temporary facility in downtown Morris, the Morris Community YMCA has been working collaboratively with Morris Hospital & Healthcare Centers to enhance the health and wellness of Grundy County residents. Together, the Y and the Hospital have provided Grundy County residents with access to unparalleled health and wellness programs and a wide variety of programming in the renovated facility. Although details regarding the partnership are still in the planning phase, the two organizations are committed to working together in a future joint facility.
“The Y is a proven, respected organization with a strong family focus, making it a wonderful partner for Morris Hospital,” said Morris Hospital & Healthcare Centers President & CEO Mark Steadham. “Over the last several years, we have been able to work together to extend the continuum of care for our patients after they leave the hospital by connecting them with YMCA programs and services that will help them continue to improve their overall health. Our unique partnership is a win-win for the community, and we are looking forward to working with the YMCA for many years to come,” added Steadham.
In 2016, the Morris Community YMCA received a 13.5-acre land donation from the families who own and operate “D” Construction, Inc. Located just west of Morris Grade School on DuPont Avenue, the site will be the future home of Grundy County’s first full-facility YMCA. Surrounded by property that is planned for residential development, the donated land is located adjacent to the existing baseball and softball fields and park land owned by the City of Morris. Its close proximity to the school and area residential neighborhoods makes the site an ideal location for a future YMCA facility.
“Like so many Grundy County residents, I am very anxious to see a full-facility YMCA open in our community,” said City of Morris Mayor Dick Kopczick. “Whether the Y is providing affordable child care, teaching kids how to be safe in and around water, or providing a place for local residents to feel welcomed and engaged, I continue to be amazed by the impact this organization has had on our community each and every day. I know a full-facility YMCA will be a wonderful asset for Morris and Grundy County, and the City of Morris is proud to join municipalities across the country that have invested in the YMCA as a way to support and strengthen their communities,” added Kopczick.
“The inspiring generosity shown by the City of Morris, and the continued commitment demonstrated by Morris Hospital, two prominent partners in our community, has bolstered the work of our Capital Campaign Leadership Cabinet,” added Missy Durkin. “With each day, we are excited to continue to tell our story and work toward meeting our goal of opening a new full-facility YMCA in Grundy County.”
In the coming months, the Capital Campaign Leadership Cabinet will continue its work to secure additional support for this project. As updates become available and milestones in the effort are met, the Morris Community YMCA looks forward to sharing the news with its members and the Grundy County community at-large.
As one of the nation’s leading nonprofit charities, the YMCA is committed to strengthening local communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. A branch of the Greater Joliet Area YMCA, the Morris Community YMCA brings families closer together, encourages good health, and fosters connections through fitness, sports, fun and shared interests. Through its financial assistance and scholarship program, the YMCA works to fulfill its mission of ensuring that its programs are available to everyone and no one is turned away due to the inability to pay.