HUTCHINSON, Kan. — YMCA Hutchinson Branch Director David Foster said the hope is that the Y can find space where it is now to expand.
"We definitely hope to make some improvements to our facility here, renovations, maybe some expansions," Foster said. "Just kind of making sure that we're more on track and in line with some of our other facilities, which really allows us to do a lot of the great free programs and things like that in the community, continue to provide financial assistance to those who need it, but also make sure that we're up to date and having a nice, new facility that the community can not only enjoy, but also be proud of."
One of the areas a Y expansion would like to help with is child care.
"We've already got some models of that at some of our Wichita branches," Foster said. "We also have a partnership with the Wichita school district to have early learning centers, that zero to pre-K child care, not only in our YMCA facilities, but also at the schools themselves. If that's something that would benefit the community here, that's something that we feel like we have the expertise in and also some models for success."
Given the location of the Y and its proximity to the high school, collaboration with USD 308 will have to happen.
"They've been great partners so far," Foster said. "We have had some preliminary discussions with them, nothing set in stone yet, but also knowing that there may be some opportunities for us to share some facilities. Not only with them, we've talked to the Boys and Girls Club, the hospital, some other community partners that may be able to help us, not only expand our footprint, but also expand our reach into the community, which is also very important."
The Y understands that acquiring land around its current footprint means getting that land from the school district, most likely.