The west end YMCA is nearing completion, and on Monday officials offered a tour of the new facility near 18th and Broadway.
Steve Tarver, president and CEO of YMCA of Greater Louisville, said construction of the $28 million, 77,000 square-foot building is on schedule and on budget. The building will be located at the site of the former Philip Morris U.S.A. plant. Tarver said the new YMCA would help fill the void left by Philip Morris’ closing, bringing $500,000 in annual payroll to the area and providing health services to residents.
“People tell us that they believe this community has been disinvested over a number of years. There’s been a lack of accessibility to the job market and things like that,” Tarver said. “Given the nature of our partners, we will not be pushing people out from the neighborhood — we’ll actually be pushing people in.”
Tarver said they will prioritize hiring young, local people to work at the YMCA. Some of the building’s services will be offered through partner organizations including the Norton Medical Group.
Norton Medical Group Director of Operations Amy Porco said a family medical practice will be housed at the YMCA. Porco said the family practice would help the community by promoting health and preventing illnesses.
“If we can prevent diabetes, help with obesity, then we are preventing a lot of the chronic illnesses that we see as people age,” Porco said. “We want to be able to offer our patients as much as we can because a lot of times your health is dependent on your resources.”
Porco said if there’s enough money in the budget, the family practice could also include a food pantry, an effort to address the lack of food options in the west end.
The new YMCA is set to open in October. Officials say the YMCA on West Chestnut Street, which has been there since 1914, will remain open.