Princeton Family YMCA and YWCA Princeton have been community partners for more than 60 years and, for almost two years, a group of volunteer board members from both organizations have been working to devise a plan to redefine their services.
As the respective organizations’ national missions have developed and expanded, the two non-profits have been challenged by managing similar services in shared facilities.
“The good news is that after a lot of thoughtful and dedicated work on the part of many,” YWCA CEO Judy Hutton explained, “we have developed a solid plan that will refocus our programming by reorganizing our campus — so we can continue to enrich the quality of life for everyone in our community.”
“The reorganization will clearly divide the YMCA and YWCA buildings, which will reduce some of the confusion that many of us have experienced,” said Kate Bech, CEO of the Princeton Family YMCA.
The YWCA will repurpose the one-story Program Building on the corner of Bayard Lane and Paul Robeson Place which is adjacent to Bramwell House, the property purchased and endowed by the Friends of the YWCA in 1975. Concurrently, the YMCA will take over the Athletic Building on Paul Robeson Place that houses the indoor swimming pool, the Dodge Gymnasium, and the recently updated Jim and Nancye Fitzpatrick Wellness Center, as well as the adjacent field.
YMCA Board Chairman Paul Biondi and YWCA President Heather Kisilywicz, along with a team of volunteer leaders, have worked closely to achieve this agreement. “We wanted to ensure that both organizations have what they need to be sustainable and thrive into the future,” said Kisilywicz. Biondi added that the new arrangement will give each non-profit the opportunity to put even more resources toward mission-driven initiatives. “While the YWCA is on a mission to eliminate racism and empower women,” he noted, “the YMCA’s cause is to strengthen the foundations of community with a focus on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.”
The two organizations have been working since 2007 to reduce duplication and confusion for the community. In 2008, Judy Hutton and Kate Bech and a volunteer task group started the process, resulting in the YWCA taking over the dance programs, and the YMCA offering fitness and youth sports.
“This next step is really an extension of those earlier conversations. All of our programs will continue, with just a handful under new management. By September 2016, the YWCA will oversee all preschool childcare programs on the campus in the Program Building, and the YMCA will manage the aquatics, sports and summer day camp programs in the Athletic Building and adjacent field,” Hutton explained.
“This is a major achievement for both organizations, and we are very excited by our collective potential to engage our members and community better, and have even more impact with our respective missions,” added Bech.
The clearly-divided property will also allow for facility management modeled by condominium associations which will provide opportunities for each organization to invest in capital improvements to develop and expand programming and respond to community needs more effectively.
The plan is outlined on the graphic above. The transition period will begin in June and be completed by September. Those looking for more information can visit each organization’s respective web site: www.ywcaprinceton.org, www.princetonymca.org, or follow the social media pages on Facebook and Twitter #ywcaprinceton and #princetonymca.