History of the Manchester Family YMCA

Known originally as the South Richmond-Chesterfield Branch, the Manchester Y waited a long time until a permanent home was found.

First founded in 1955, within two years, Stanley Navas, the branch chairman, informed the Metropolitan YMCA board of "the urgent needs for a program building facility in this area." The brand soon started searching for suitable property.  A site committee, chaired by A. Porter Vaughan, found a parcel on U.S. Route 60 (Midlothian Turnpike). The branch bid on it in September 1958.  However, over this time, this location proved unsuitable.  The branch board decided to sell it in 1962, but a serious purchaser did not appear until 1970.

The branch began looking for a new permanent location during 1966, well before the old property was sold.  The resulting search focused on finding a ten-acre parcel near U.S. Routes 60 or 360.  In April 1970, the branch agreed to purchase 17.5 acres of land on Hull Street Road opposite Manchester High School.

The new Y opened in late 1974 in a building measured 100 by 150 feet.  It had a swimming pool, locker rooms, showers and dressing rooms.  Space was provided for ping-pong tables, pool tables, a lounge, a workout area with universal gym and administrative offices.  The branch had outside athletic fields as well, including a softball field and an 2.5-acre man-made pond.

In 1992, the branch was renamed to the Manchester Family YMCA.

In 2021, the Manchester Family YMCA is currently undergoing renovations to improve its existing facility.

The text was taken from the book "The Richmond YMCA: 150 Years of Innovation and Service for Central Virginia" by Edward R. Crews.