The YMCA of Southwest Illinois has announced it has merged with the Tri-City YMCA in Granite City.
The Granite City-based YMCA is now a branch of the YMCA of Southwest Illinois. The Tri-City YMCA recently opened a new $1 million, 10,000-square-foot building at 451 Niedringhaus Ave., located at America’s Central Port off Illinois 3, in November 2004.
Both associations have been involved in a management agreement since February and formed a task force to investigate a possible merger. YMCA of Southwest Illinois vice president Jared Beard said the YMCA has had a presence in Granite City since 1918. He said both the Tri-City YMCA and YMCA of Southwest Illinois boards saw an opportunity to expand and enhance the YMCA’s presence in Madison County.
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“We’re hopeful that we will be able to expand programs and services in Granite City, Madison and Venice,” Beard said. “We see some great opportunities there for a greater impact. We have met with the United Way and other partners in the community to look at their need and to help us address those.”
The Granite City YMCA will join an association of seven locations within the YMCA of Southwest Illinois. The merger will bring together 35,000 members that served more than 60,000 people last year.
In a statement released by YMCA of Southwest Illinois, chief volunteer officer Bill Gavin said, “By taking this action, we position the Y to serve more youth and families, and improve more lives at a time when the needs for our services have never been greater.”
John Papa, chief volunteer officer of the Tri-City YMCA, said, “This step will allow us to improve efficiencies, and develop and implement programming that more effectively supports our youth development, healthy living and social responsibility initiatives.”
Beard said the YMCA of Southwest Illinois is still working on a previously announced merger with the YMCA of Greater St. Louis. The pending union was initially announced in January 2014. Beard said he anticipated the merger to be completed by the end of the year.
“We’re still in the process and I think we will see a more formal announcement this fall,” he said. “We’re still working on it and it’s pretty complex process to integrate the two organizations. So there are some complexities there and we’re trying to work through it. Everything is on schedule, and we want to make sure we are prepared for the future.”
Contact reporter Will Buss at firstname.lastname@example.org or 618-239-2526.