Reading, PA Monday December16, 2019 – The YMCA of Reading and Berks County is excited to share the news that they have signed an Agreement of Sale to purchase the Richmond Elementary School from the Fleetwood Area School District (FASD). The partnership between the YMCA and FASD began many years ago with the YMCA offering before and after school programs to students in the district and for more than 10 years the YMCA has been providing childcare for infants and toddlers from 6 weeks through 5 years old at the Fleetwood Education Center. In 2011, the YMCA opened their own building attached to Willow Creek Elementary School offering memberships, health and wellness programs, silver sneakers fitness programs, and youth sports programming in addition to before and after school care. Kim Johnson, President and CEO, of the YMCA of Reading and Berks County shared why this move makes perfect sense at this time, “This is a tremendous opportunity for the YMCA to expand programming to the Fleetwood community and beyond. This partnership between the YMCA and the Fleetwood Area School District is an excellent example of two great organizations working together for the good of our community”.
The addition of the Richmond Elementary School will allow the YMCA to increase its capacity for childcare and summer camp programs. It will also allow the YMCA to better serve the community by offering usage of the outdoor fields and the multi-purpose room to local youth groups, sports teams and other local organizations for community events. The 36,000 square foot building with 17 classrooms on 15 acres affords the YMCA the opportunity for continued growth, new partnerships and collaborations, and a smooth transition with little to no disruption in service to families.
The YMCA plans for the property are to include an upgrade to the mechanical systems and interior modifications to improve usage for childcare programs and their first tenant, Berks Encore. The YMCA is excited to bring both childcare programs and Berks Encore under one roof to provide multi-generational programming. Ken Borkey, Vice President of the YMCA of Reading and Berks County stated that, “We are excited to make an investment in this property that will allow the YMCA to grow programs while at the same time ensuring that the community continues to benefit from the use of the facility and property”. Once improvements have been made and the center is licensed the YMCA will begin the process of moving their childcare programs and Berks Encore into their new facility. Stay tuned for more exciting news and updates as well as information on a Grand Opening in the coming months.