As the area in Hanover County near 301 and I-295 continued to grow, the idea came to have a YMCA in the new Rutland Community. Richmond-area developer HHHunt, which was building the nearby Rutland housing community on 202 acres, provided the space and below-market leasing rates in the Rutland Center office park for the Atlee Y to be created. HHHunt also helped with the Tuckahoe and Shady Grove YMCAs in Henrico and the Midlothian YMCA in Chesterfield County.
The Atlee Station Family YMCA opened in November 2011 to become Hanover County's second YMCA, following the Patrick Henry Family YMCA in Ashland. However, growth at that location was not as quick as the Y had hoped and expenses were exceeding revenue. The YMCA announced that it would close the doors just 3 years after opening.
When the Atlee YMCA announced its closing in 2014, it caused more than a stir in the community, and supporters of the facility rallied to create the STAY (Save The Atlee Y) campaign to save the popular site. Atlee Station Family YMCA Executive Director Holly Austin stated that “Through the passionate advocacy of our dedicated members and community, we stayed open. We formed a volunteer branch Board of Management and started to build our case for supporting our community.”
The results have been impressive. “Since that time, our membership, program participation, philanthropic support, and community outreach have all grown,” Austin said.
In the ensuing years, membership volunteer engagement, and interest in the community Y have increased, and the Atlee Y announced the acquisition of land for a new facility, the culmination of volunteer and community efforts. The nine-acre parcel is located adjacent to the current facility in the Rutland community.
“We are excited to be in a vibrant and growing community and, in particular, within walking distance to the campuses of Atlee High and Chickahominy Middle School,” said Austin.
There is no timeline for the project yet, but the strong support of the community and members remain integral in the ongoing process to build a new YMCA, Austin said.
Today, the Atlee Station Family YMCA remains a busy hub for the residents of Hanover County and North Richmond.