On November 15, 2019, the YMCA of South Florida and its community partners held the L.A. Lee YMCA/Mizell Community Center Golden Shovel Groundbreaking event at 1409 Sistrunk Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, the new location for the L.A. Lee YMCA and former site of the Mizell Community Center. YMCA CEO Sheryl A. Woods, CFO Mark Russell and Board Chair Joaquin Urquiola, joined by Fort Lauderdale Vice Mayor Robert L. McKinzie and Broward College President Gregory A. Haile, spoke to the importance of the day for the residents of the community.
The day was commemorated with speeches, a check presentation from Gulf Building, spoken word poetry by Rebecca “Butterfly” Vaughs, and of course, groundbreaking shovel ceremonies. The Groundbreaking was attended by over 300 community and business leaders, YMCA Members and local residents. All interested members of the community had an opportunity to participate in a ceremonial shoveling of dirt and photo to mark the momentous occasion. Construction is scheduled to be completed in January 2021.
The new facility will include:
- Traditional Y programs
- Health & wellness programs
- Meeting Space that supports events from community
- Retail space to help drive economic development in the corridor
- Broward College providing workforce education classes
- Preschool for early childhood learning options in the community
- Shared Work Space for small businesses or start-up businesses
- Black Box Theater for cultural arts programming
- Swimming Pool to teach kids to swim, provide low-impact exercise
The new location will allow the Y to serve a broader portion of the community and create a place that would provide health and wellness programs for kids, families, adults and seniors; afterschool programs, community events and meeting space, preschool, workforce education through Broward College, as well as making retail space available to encourage economic growth and create jobs.
This new YMCA is made possible through a partnership with the City of Fort Lauderdale, and funding received from Fort Lauderdale Community Redevelopment Agency, Housing Authority of Fort Lauderdale, City of Fort Lauderdale Housing and Community Development, new market tax credits, and other partners.