Cary, NC — A new, full-service YMCA will open next to Crosspointe Church in Northwest Cary in January 2017. The funding for the Y is made possible by a partnership with the church.
YMCA Planned for Northwest Cary
An anticipated 154,000 square-foot (total indoor space) YMCA will be built adjacent to Crosspointe’s 38-acre property on Carpenter Fire Station Road in Northwest Cary. The new Y will feature lounge areas, a wellness center, a pool, group exercise studios, a gym and more.
I met with Jennifer Nelson, the Associate VP of Communications for the YMCA, and Crosspointe officials Jonathan Bow (Lead Pastor) and TJ Terry (Lead Strategist) to learn more.
Benefits the Y, the Church & the Community
The YMCA had been looking for land in Northwest Cary for awhile – now, with Crosspointe’s help, they’ll be able to open a facility in the area ten years earlier than they had originally thought possible. Crosspointe had a lot of available land, and, while the church had already planned to expand into the space, it was also important to them to do what was best for the community.
Building a YMCA on the land was the perfect opportunity.
As Crosspointe’s Lead Pastor, Jonathan Bow, explained, “This helps the church grow as a community yet be a good steward of the land. Instead of taking up space with a building that is only used one day a week, the building and parking lot will be used seven days a week. This is a better story than if we were just doing something on our own.”
Since YMCA’s are usually closed on Sunday mornings, Crosspointe will use the gymnasium for church services. This gives members of the church more options for worship but still allows the gym to be used for sports, as services will be completed by the time the YMCA opens.
The acoustics, lights and look and feel of the gym will be specially designed so that it can be used as a place for both basketball games and worship.
The Why Project, Inc.
To fund the building of the new YMCA, Crosspointe Church created an organization focused solely on community development called The Why Project, Inc. The funds raised by this organization will go to building the new YMCA campus on Crosspointe’s land. The Why Project. Inc. will be the owners of the property and lease the building to the YMCA, their tenant.
Internally, Crosspointe has raised over $4 million towards the $7 million goal. Crosspointe and The Why Project, Inc. are currently fundraising outside of the church for general donations.
Just like at any other YMCA, you’ll have to be a member of the gym to work out. Some gym members will go to Crosspointe Church, and some won’t – anyone can use the Y.
The Why Project, Inc. and the YMCA will remain completely independent organizations from one another with their own unique members, staff, leadership and governance – but, from partnering together, the groups will be able to serve others more than ever before.
A Gathering Space for the Community
Both the Y and Crosspointe noticed a need in NW Cary for a good gathering place in the community – for teens especially – so efforts are concentrated on creating a positive environment for students. The Y will be right near Green Hope and Panther Creek High Schools, and 8,000 square feet of the space will be devoted to serving middle and high school students.
In addition to this, the Y will offer programs revolved around leadership development, after school outreach and more. In celebration of the nearby community’s rich farming history, the new building will have a “teaching kitchen,” where people will learn to cook meals from produce that will be planted and collected from the land around the YMCA.
Regardless of whether someone is a member of the Y, a member of the church or neither, there will be community-centered spaces that anyone can use. The teaching kitchen, among other areas, will be open to all community members. The Y’s atrium area will contain a sandwich shop and coffee house that will donate all of its profits to local organizations.
“There’s so much busyness around us, but here, people can come in to sit and rest,” said Bow.
The official groundbreaking for this project will occur in late fall, but site work has already started. The new YMCA is estimated to be open in January 2017.
Keep reading CaryCitizen for updates.
Story by Jessica Patrick. Photos from The Why Project, Inc.