July 03, 2018
Chicago, IL- The long-awaited McCormick YMCA’s state-of-the-art Aquatic Center is now open for residents of Humboldt Park, Hermosa, Logan Square, and Wicker Park. The 13,000-square-foot two-story addition features two indoor pools, including a lap pool, two multipurpose rooms, a family locker room, and two unisex public restrooms at the western trailhead of The 606, which will be available during the center’s operating hours.
The expansion will make a significant and potentially life-saving impact by making year-round swim lessons and pool facilities accessible to residents of Humboldt Park, Hermosa, Logan Square, and nearby Wicker Park, whom are predominately Hispanic, White, and African-American.
According to the USA Swimming Foundation, 64% of African-American, 45% of Hispanic/Latino, and 40% of Caucasian children have little to no swimming ability, putting them at risk for drowning. Children who swim with their family are 2.7 times more likely to be good swimmers.
Denise Lam, Executive Vice President and COO of YMCA of Metro Chicago shared, “We expect to provide over 1,200 swim lessons in the next year, and beyond that, we’re also excited that there will be dozens of jobs provided to this community.” As part of the YMCA of Metro Chicago's commitment to water safety, the Y offered 30,000 swim lessons across the Chicago area last year, and more than 1,000 lessons were provided at little to no cost to the family.
The Robert R. McCormick Foundation and their President and CEO, David Hiller, played a significant part of this expansion. Dick Malone, President and CEO, of the YMCA of Metro Chicago, said the McCormick Foundation “wholeheartedly embraced the concept of having a safe haven in a community that has been underserved for decades — so families can build the needed life skills for a better future.”
The McCormick YMCA is offering tours of the Aquatic Center for members and the general public. Open swim hours are Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., and Saturdays from noon to 6:30 p.m. Information about upcoming swim lessons and programs will be available on the website soon.