The new Westview YMCA is a partnership with Omaha Public Schools and connected to the new Westview High School.
The YMCA of Greater Omaha’s newest branch, the Westview YMCA, officially opened July 18. The branch is a co-op project in conjunction with Omaha Public Schools to bring a multi-use high school and YMCA to fruition.
“This arrangement has been years in the making, and we are so excited to see our plans become a reality,” said Rebecca Deterding, the president and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Omaha in a statement. “Omaha Public Schools has been an incredible partner to work with on this. We look forward to seeing the students, school staff and community members enjoy all the benefits the YMCA offers.”
The Westview YMCA is a traditional, full-service facility serving all ages and will have similar programming found at other locations. There will also be benefits and efficiencies from having shared spaces with the high school, all while ensuring security remains a top priority.
YMCA patrons and students will not occupy spaces at the same time. The YMCA and Omaha Public Schools were strategic in how the shared areas could be activated based on schedules that maximize use.
After school recreational and employment opportunities at the Westview YMCA will be accessible, giving more students – even those who don’t participate in organized team sports – new opportunities to learn and exercise. Additionally, teachers at the school have the opportunity to integrate the Y’s health and youth development mission into their students’ academic learning as the partnership continues to evolve.
These compelling advantages helped build support around the project, made possible by several donations that helped fund construction.
“We are so thankful for the generosity that made Westview what it is today, and I especially want to extend our deepest gratitude to The Sherwood Foundation, the Lozier Foundation, the Sunderland Foundation, the Heider Family Foundation and our donors that wished to remain anonymous,” said Deterding. “Their engagement and true commitment to creating and sustaining a healthy, growing environment for young people is a gift that extends beyond the completion of this building.”
While new to Omaha, this is not the first time this model has been used. Similar partnerships have been successful across the YMCA of the USA network, including one in Lincoln, Nebraska, which provides insight into making the most of working together.
“Opening a new YMCA is always exciting, but we’re especially proud of our recent projects with Omaha Public Schools,” said Deterding. “Our great experience working with Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Logan and her team has led to some great discussions on other kinds of partnerships, including the innovative Express YMCA at Buena Vista High School that will be opening next month.”
Group fitness classes at the new Westview YMCA began July 18, and swim lessons and youth sports will start in the fall. Membership is valid at all YMCA of Greater Omaha locations and financial assistance is available. Learn more about the Westview YMCA.
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