Volunteers Revitalize the West Broad Street YMCA
Volunteers begin work on a revitalization of the grounds of the West Broad Street YMCA. Team members have pooled their talents to improve drainage, repave the parking facility, and install new fencing. Additionally, workers will establish a new covered walkway from the driveway to the early learning center entrance. “This is an amazing gift,” says Executive Director Peter Doliber. “It is difficult for parents to get from the parking lot to the entrance, especially when it is raining. This will make it easier and safer for our children and parents.” Batson-Cook Company, who is lending expertise from its Mitsubishi Power Systems Americas Savannah Machinery Works project, is spearheading this much-needed enhancement to the West Broad Street YMCA. They are working as a joint-venture with Hussey, Gay, Bell, and DeYoung, and Sotille and Sotille Architects, who are also are donating their time, talent, and materials. “We are looking forward to making the entrance to the Y’s Early Learning Center inviting and safe for the many members of the community who receive services and opportunities here,” comments Tom Thrasher, senior project manager at Batson-Cook. The West Broad Street YMCA is located downtown Savannah on May Street. It serves all of Savannah, but has a special mission for the families of the Kayton and Frazier Public Housing Neighborhoods. There are over 500 children in the area with a median family income of under $8,200 a year. The West Broad Street YMCA works to help these families end generational poverty through education and enrichment programs. The West Broad Street YMCA was founded in 1942 when Black service men were denied services at the local Y. It was chartered with YMCA of the USA in 1947 and has served the community ever since. Because of its founding during segregation and the role it played in the Civil Rights Movement, it is known as a Heritage YMCA, one of six of what was once 300 such Y’s remaining in the country.