History of the YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids

YMCA was founded in London, England.
1866
The first YMCA building is constructed with a few meeting rooms and study areas.
1892
Liesveld Lodge 1914
Property donated at Barlow Lake by the Liesveld Family. Site became Camp Manitou-Lin.
1915
Community raised $425,000 for construction of the West Branch building.
1959
West Pool lots o kids
Community raised $736,000 for addition of gymnasium and locker rooms to the West Branch building and to construct the current South Branch.
1974
Community raised $2.5 million to fund the construction of the Southeast Branch, and to add new features to the South Branch, and added racquetball courts, and a finished basement to the West Branch, additional cabins for Camp Manitou-Lin, and a newly renovated Youth Department for the Central Branch.
1984
Community raised $3.7 million to fund the purchase of 120 acres of land for resident Camp Manitou-Lin, and to fund the Central Branch renovation project. Ionia Program Center established with the cooperation of the Ionia Public School District.
1991
Generations Child Care Center opens in August in collaboration with Porter Hills Presbyterian Village. Ionia Program Center is recognized as the Ionia Country Branch YMCA. Mid City Adventure Club begins.
1993
Lowell Branch opens two childcare facilities.
1995
Downtown, West, and Southeast Branches open “Kids Gym” facilities.
1997
Renovations of Camp Manitou-Lin are completed, highlighted by the dedication of the new Cheff Lodge, two new quad cabins and the Liesveld Pavilion. Downtown, West, and Southeast branches make significant facility improvements to enhance member services.
1999
Dedicated the “Skip Gates Memorial Chapel” Saturday, June 24, 2000 at Camp Manitou-Lin. Purchased land on the corner of Post Drive and Jupiter Avenue for the purpose of a new North Branch YMCA.
2001
Visser Family YMCA opened Teen Center and Chapel.
2004
david d. hunting ymca external 0
The $29.3 million, 159,000 sq. ft. David D. Hunting Branch YMCA, located at 475 Lake Michigan Drive in Grand Rapids opened in July. The $8.4 million, 46,800 sq. ft. Wolverine Worldwide Family YMCA located at 6555 Jupiter Avenue in Belmont opened in October.
2008
The $200,000 renovation to the Southeast Branch YMCA locker rooms was completed in September, 2009.
2010
Spartan Stores YMCA opened in August in Wyoming, MI.
2013
1844
1866 DT Swim Team wGerald Ford
The Grand Rapids YMCA is organized by a small group of men meeting in the chapel of the First Park Congregational Church.
1885
Downtown YMCA
A $100,000 building is constructed. It included a gymnasium, swimming pool, track and library rooms. (Now the site of the Federal Square Building),
1913
Central Branch at 33 Library Street, NE was constructed at a time when the population of Grand Rapids was 112,000. (Total cost was $250,000.)
1957
Organizations of the Lowell Branch with the assistance of the King Memorial Fund. South Branch organized.
1968
Central Branch remodeled to expand recreational capacity.
1978
Instructional swimming pool added at South Branch facility. Central Branch added Nautilus Center and family locker rooms.
1989
Downtown Branch YMCA Capital Campaign to name the new natatorium in honor of Paul G. Goebel, Sr., former mayor of Grand Rapids and President of the YMCA Board of Directors from 1937-1941. Corporate Sports Challenge begins.
1992
South Branch converts from a facility to a community-based operation. Shelter Plus Care, a special residence program for veterans, is established at the Downtown YMCA.
1994
DSC01612
Downtown YMCA collaborates with the West Michigan Whitecaps to offer Inner City Baseball Program.
1996
Metropolitan YMCA begins Capital Campaign for expansions at Southeast, West and Camp Manitou-Lin. South Branch headquarters move from Wyoming to Grandville and is renamed Southwest Branch.
1998
Visser
Purchased new Southwest facility, which was dedicated as the “Visser Family YMCA” on May 7, 2000.
2000
New Lowell YMCA Community Wellness and Teen Centers open on January 1, 2001. New Southeast YMCA Teen Center opened June 12, 2001.
2002
The Downtown and West Board of Managers merged to form the David D. Hunting Board of Managers. The Fit Zone opened. Continuous Quality Initiative was implemented.
2005
011 120 WWW
The $2.1 million, 12,000 sq. ft Phase II expansion of the Wolverine World Wide Family Branch YMCA includes a wellness area, gymnasium, 10 family locker rooms, and an educational classroom/program meeting space.
2009
JC Ground breaking Photos 079
Construction began for the Spartan Stores Branch YMCA, a $13 million, 96,000 sq. ft. facility located at 5722 Metro Way, Wyoming.
2011
YMCA Camp Manitou-Lin celebrated its 100-Year Anniversary.