Smith Family YMCA to Close on March 26
For nearly 95 years, the Greater Joliet Area YMCA has worked to bring about meaningful change in the community. As a result of the ongoing global health crisis, the YMCA has been challenged to reimagine the ways it delivers services to the community.
After months of thoughtful consideration, the Greater Joliet Area YMCA announced today that its Board of Directors has made the difficult decision to permanently close the Smith Family YMCA, located at 1350 S. Briggs Street in Joliet. The last day of operations at the Smith Family YMCA will be Friday, March 26.
“The challenges of the past 12 months have provided our YMCA with an opportunity to take a long, hard look at the programs we offer in the Joliet community. The Smith Family YMCA has proudly served residents of Joliet since 1978, but in recent years, its most impactful programs have operated outside of our YMCA walls and in the community,” said Greater Joliet Area YMCA President and CEO Jim Watts.
In the coming weeks, existing Smith Family YMCA programming will be relocated to sites throughout the Joliet community. Two of the YMCA’s largest youth development programs, including its Before and After School Kid Zone and Summer Day Camp programs, will be moving to the Salvation Army Building in downtown Joliet. Additional YMCA programs will be relocated to other community locations in the months ahead.
“We are excited to partner with area churches, local school districts, and other like-minded community organizations, like the Salvation Army, to make YMCA programming more accessible for Joliet residents. By relocating our most impactful programs to neighborhood locations, we hope to remove the barriers that may have prevented residents of all ages, but especially area youths, from utilizing our facility on Briggs Street,” said Watts.
Beginning on March 27, Smith Family YMCA members will transition to the Galowich Family YMCA, located at 749 Houbolt Road in Joliet. All employees at the Smith Family YMCA will have the opportunity to continue employment with the Y by moving to a new community program site or one of the Greater Joliet Area YMCA’s facilities in Joliet, Morris, or Plainfield.
“Although we are very sad to be retiring the Smith Family YMCA building, we are excited to write the next chapter of the Y’s storied history in the Joliet community. At the YMCA, our mission lives within the hearts of our members, volunteers, and staff, and we know that the spirit of the Smith Family YMCA will live on in our programs for generations to come. We remain committed to providing a YMCA experience for all and serving the Joliet community,” added Watts.