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YMCA solidifies investment in Lewis Street location

The Lewis Street YMCA Neighborhood Center, formerly the YMCA Center for Equity at Lewis Street
YMCA of Greater Rochester
The Lewis Street YMCA Neighborhood Center, formerly the YMCA Center for Equity at Lewis Street

The YMCA of Greater Rochester has announced that the organization has been able to purchase a building that it had been leasing on Lewis Street, which will save money, funds that can now be invested back into programming.

YMCA officials said Thursday that they have received a significant gift from two longtime supporters of the YMCA, Jurij and Marie Kushner.

That will allow the YMCA to save nearly $1 million in rent over the next 10 years.

The YMCA Center for Equity at Lewis Street will now be known as The Lewis Street YMCA Neighborhood Center.

Danielle Lyman-Torres is Senior Vice President of Urban Services for the local YMCA. She said the Lewis Street location is focused on providing services that people in the community have asked for.

“This has come from conversations with committee members, people have joined committees to really talk about what do you need from the YMCA in your neighborhood,” said Lyman-Torres. “And for some people, it’s fitness, and for some people, it’s many other things.

Jessica Kingsley is executive director for the YMCA’s Community Services Division. She said the organization is trying to respond to the need for services that people in the neighborhood have asked for.

“So we are doing that actively with an out of school time programming; that takes place in the after school hours and on the weekends,” said Kingsley. “In addition, we do have active older adult programming taking place. So several of our elders in the community come to the center and utilizes the spaces. We (also) have tech resources for workforce development.”

The YMCA last year closed down its fitness center located at the Carlson Metro Center in downtown Rochester citing low membership and financial problems. That location at East Main and Gibbs Streets still offers other services.

The YMCA continues to operate three locations in the city, including Lewis Street, the Southwest Family YMCA and the Maplewood Family YMCA.

The YMCA said that it will be hosting a series of meetings at The Lewis Street YMCA Neighborhood Center to continue working with neighbors.

They are scheduled as follows:

  • 6pm on Monday, Feb. 28
  • 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 10
  • Noon on Friday, March 18.
Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.