Kearney Y Arising
In the late 1980’s Scott Morris donated a building downtown, giving us our first physical location. Known as “The Storefront”, this little building had a few offices and a large multi-purpose room. The room was used for everything from youth camps to step classes. As cozy as the building was, it soon became clear that we would soon need more space!
Construction began at the new site in the spring of 1993 following an extensive capital campaign to determine community support for a new location and to raise the necessary funds. This site, located at 4500 6th Ave was built on a 10.3 acre swath of land donated by Calvin Johnson of Hastings Nebraska. Six acres remain for outdoor fields, where thousands of kids have played flag football, soccer, and t-ball.
Within a few years, our membership base had grown to over 5000 members and it was time to expand again. Using the funds from yet another Capital Campaign, the Y was able to add the Family Center, The Super Gym, the Ron and Carol Cope Child Development Center, and a board room. We were also able to change the location of our front entry, remodel the fitness center and add additional special needs/family changing rooms and restrooms. The ground breaking ceremony was held in the spring of 2000.
Over the last 20 years our membership base has grown to over 5000 members. Thousands of children have participated in youth sports and thousands more have learned to swim. We have seen our members reshape their lives and we have actively reshaped the community in return. What is perhaps most amazing about the last twenty years is the countless hours of volunteer time dedicated by so many people at various stages of the Y’s journey. From the early fledgling days of our programing, auctions, spirit runs, and basketball tournaments, to the tireless hours of the people on the building committee insuring that every single brick, tile, and beam was the highest quality and would last for generations, to the volunteers and interns that help with day to day operations today, the support of the Kearney Y has been absolutely incredible. It is safe to say we wouldn’t be here today without the Community.