Evansville celebrates opening of new Ascension St. Vincent YMCA

EVANSVILLE, Ind. — Larry Miller’s eyes widened as he witnessed the ribbon cutting of the new Ascension St. Vincent YMCA Downtown on Thursday afternoon.

For Miller, who said he helped build the former Downtown YMCA, the ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house symbolized something beyond the building’s updated features and freshly buffed floors.

The $18.1 million facility, which replaced the old Downtown YMCA across the street’s intersection, fills a community-wide need for Evansville’s growth.

And though residents enjoyed the former Downtown YMCA, the new version of the generations-old center was necessary, Miller said. 

“I’m very proud to have been a part of this Y,” he said. “It’s a part of the fabric of my life and our community. I thought we did a good job of building this Y, and I can’t wait to experience this one. I’m looking forward to a clean and more convenient building.”

The YMCA’s partnership with Ascension St. Vincent, a Catholic non-profit health care organization, played a major role in the building’s development. During its construction, several spaces were built to help aid YMCA members with injuries and disabilities. 

In between the facility’s recreational features, Ascension St. Vincent used its multi-million dollar budget and 10,000-foot occupancy to place clinical offices on the first floor of the two-story center.

Johnathon Pope, president of the YMCA of Southwestern Indiana, and Mayor Lloyd Winnecke spoke positively about Ascension St. Vincent’s involvement.

“Our community vision is coming together,” Winnecke said. “We can’t wait to share this with the city of Evansville and the state of Indiana. I would like to thank the YMCA staff and the donors for all they do for Downtown and the many members that you service.”

The new building’s construction will provide a community-wide vessel for the Downtown area, Miller said, one he’s been a part of since his days learning to swim nearly 65 years ago.

Following the facility’s grand opening, community-members were given tours throughout the facility’s corners. And for YMCA members, they were allowed full access to the YMCA’s equipment and gymnasium at 4 p.m. after the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

— Courier & Press

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