In 2000, the Greater Hartford YMCA created an Urban Initiatives Department with the intention of developing an improved service model for the City of Hartford and its residents. The group created a series of recommendations, one of which included developing a smaller, community focused facility in Hartford’s North End neighborhoods.

JCJ Architecture provided site selection, regulatory review and program test fit services that enabled the GHYMCA to select an appropriate site in the Clay Arsenal Neighborhood Revitalization Zone of Hartford. The Firm worked with the owner and neighborhood groups on programming and design options to make this new building a functional centerpiece for the community.

The facility includes a 3,000 square foot early learning and child care center; a 1,200 square foot teen center; a 6,500 square foot fitness and wellness facility; 3,000 square feet of meeting space for parent and after-school programs and, a 2 ½ story climbing wall that is visible to the street. The masonry and curtain wall building sits along the busy Albany Avenue thoroughfare and has become a visible destination for the community. Sustainable features include a rain garden and two cisterns for storm water management and solar shading.