Construction to Begin on Downtown YMCA



The 92-year-old Lyric Theatre building on Central St. will finally begin gaining fresh life this week. The building will be redeveloped into a new $35 million Downtown YMCA, and the construction kickoff is set for tomorrow.

With the name Kirk Family Community Center, the Y will bring people in the Downtown area more opportunities to engage in healthy activities and is being funded by $16.9 million from the 11th Street Corridor Tax Increment Financing District, the Missouri Development Finance Board and charitable gifts from foundations and individual donors.    

The facility will be named for the Kirk Family, as the Kirks are longtime supporters and donors of the new Downtown Y. Furthermore, the late Phil Kirk played an integral role in Downtown’s revitalization, and according to a release from the YMCA, was “instrumental in bringing the new Y to the former Lyric Theatre.”

The YMCA will include the following features and amenities:

      • Three community rooms for hosting meetings, celebrations, etc.
        • One community room will even feature a teaching kitchen for healthy eating, nutrition and cooking classes.
      • A Kids Zone for kids to learn and play
      • An indoor family pool and lap pool
      • An enclosed wood-floor gym
      • A health and wellness area, offering guests the opportunity to participate in cardiovascular exercise and strength training
      • Three studios designated for group exercise
      • Suspended indoor track
      • Through a partnership with Truman Medical Center, there will also be a medical clinic available

These features and the various programs the Y is set to provide will fill a void that has been previously been left empty in the Downtown area. “The new Downtown YMCA/Kirk Family Community Center builds on the success of Kansas City’s downtown revitalization, and will bring much-needed community programs to the diverse and growing downtown community,” Paula Oxler, spokesperson for the YMCA of Greater Kansas City, told Ingram’s. “It adds value to downtown with additional programming. It also will meet the changing needs of the community as more young professionals, families and empty-nesters call downtown home, and will serve as a destination for the entire metro. In addition, it brings employment opportunities for people to work at the new Y.”