Staunton Augusta YMCA aims to grow with green space

Published: Nov. 9, 2021 at 10:37 PM EST
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STAUNTON, Va. (WVIR) - Despite providing after-school care and summer day camp for years, the Staunton Augusta YMCA has never had its own green space, but it’s always been a goal. That could be changing in the near future.

The Staunton Augusta YMCA is still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, even so, they are not afraid to dream big.

Right now, they are under contract to buy 35 acres of property on New Hope Rd. across from Staunton Alliance Church.

“It makes a lot of sense for us because it gives us the ability to do something in Staunton which is important for us, and it’s also very close to our Y,” Staunton Augusta YMCA Executive Director Josh Cole said.

It’s green space for their summer day camp. It will allow them to expand the day camp as well as their childcare program, taking the current capacity from 40 kids up to 250.

“Take care of what we see is an issue in the community,” Cole stated.

The property is not without challenges. It’s zoned residential and is partially in a flood plain, but it’s also filled with potential.

“Thirty-five acres to let our imagination run wild and 35 acres to let the kids run wild,” Jason Lackey, a Staunton Augusta YMCA board member, said.

Dreams of soccer fields, a pavilion, gym, pool -- the possibilities are endless.

“What would it be like to shoot archery with your kids? What would it be like to go out and to get on a ropes course and to challenge yourself and to work as a team to accomplish something?” Lackey asked.

It’s one more way the Staunton Augusta YMCA aims to serve the community and its young people.

“It’s better to dream big and get half of what you want then to dream small and get it all, so we are dreaming big,” Lackey said.

The Staunton Y is seeking a special use permit from the city. They have full support from the Planning Commission and will go before Staunton City Council Thursday, Nov. 11. If it works for Staunton and the Y, they’ll move forward with their plans.

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