Ground was broken on The Thelma Lovette Family Y, in the Hill District on Monday.
As the symbolic digging began on what will be a full-service YMCA on Centre Avenue, Hill District community leaders spoke about the change the new facility will have on the dynamic of the community. Eric Mann is the president of the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh.
"It’s another resource, another positive resource for the revitalization for the Hill community, we’re one piece of it but I think we’re a big piece," he said.
The 43,000-square-foot building will have programs for children, seniors and everyone inbetween. It will have a pool and community leaders say swimming lessons for youth will be a priority.
Expected to open in 14 months, the facility will be named after long-time community leader and civil rights activist Thelma Lovette. She said it is an honor.
"I’m an old lady, I’ve lived in this city all my life and I’m so grateful that your honoring me with this YMCA," he said.
The other Y in the Hill District, also on Centre Avenue, which primarily serves housing needs, will continue to function. The community is also expecting a grocery store and a pharmacy.