Feature Article - June 2012
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YMCAs, YWCAs, JCCs and Boys & Girls Clubs

A Look at Trends in YMCAs, YWCAs, JCCs and Boys & Girls Clubs

Facility Plans

Slightly fewer YMCA respondents in 2012 indicated that they had plans for construction over the next several years. While 65 percent had such plans in 2011, this year that number fell to 63.3 percent. Fewer YMCA respondents were planning to renovate existing facilities (40.6 percent in 2012 vs. 45 percent in 2011), and about the same number were planning to add to their existing facilities (29.7 percent in 2012, and 30 percent in 2011). More YMCA respondents in 2012 were planning to build new facilities. Nearly a fifth (19.8 percent) of 2012 YMCA respondents said they planned to build new, compared with 14.2 percent in 2011. (See Figure 56.)

Respondents from YMCAs in 2012 planned to spend 27.8 percent less on their construction plans than those from 2011. While 2011's YMCA respondents had an average construction budget of $5,226,000, this year that number dropped to $3,771,000.

The top features currently included in YMCA respondents' facilities include: fitness centers, locker rooms, exercise studio spaces, indoor sports courts for games like basketball and volleyball, classrooms and meeting rooms, indoor aquatic facilities, playgrounds, open spaces such as gardens and fields, concession areas, and bleachers and seating.

More than a third (36.6 percent) of YMCA respondents said they had plans to add features and amenities at their facilities over the next three years. The most commonly planned additions for these respondents include:

  1. Splash play areas (29.7 percent of YMCA respondents with plans to add features and amenities)
  2. Playgrounds (24.3 percent)
  3. Waterparks (21.6 percent)
  4. Natural turf sports fields for sports such as football and soccer (18.9 percent)
  5. Locker rooms (18.9 percent)
  6. Exercise studios (18.9 percent)
  7. Indoor aquatic facilities (18.9 percent)
  8. Bleachers and seating (16.2 percent)
  9. Fitness centers (13.5 percent)
  10. Indoor sports courts (13.5 percent)


Once again in 2012, YMCA respondents offered a wider variety of programming than many other respondent groups. The top programs currently found among YMCA respondents' facilities include:

  1. Day camps and summer camps (94.1 percent)
  2. Holiday events and other special events (92.1 percent)
  3. Youth sports teams (92.1 percent)
  4. Fitness programs (89.1 percent)
  5. Mind-body/balance programs such as yoga and tai chi (83.2 percent)
  6. Swimming programs (82.2 percent)
  7. Educational programs (80.2 percent)
  8. Teen programming (80.2 percent)
  9. Programs for active older adults (79.2 percent)
  10. Personal training (79.2 percent)

This year saw increases in the percentage of YMCA respondents who provide holiday events and other special events (up from 90.2 percent); fitness programs (up from 88.5 percent); youth sports teams (up from 86.1 percent); day camps and summer camps (up from 83.6 percent); swimming programs (up from 80.3 percent); and teen programs (up from 76.2 percent).

YMCA respondents were more likely than all other facility types to report that they had plans to add more programs within the next three years. Nearly four in 10 (39.6 percent) YMCA respondents said they have plans to add programs. Their most commonly planned programs include:

  1. Sport-specific training, such as golf lessons or tennis lessons (Up from No. 9 in 2011)
  2. Nutrition and diet counseling (no change)
  3. Performing arts programs, such as dance, theater and music (no change)
  4. Teen programming (down from No. 1)
  5. Trips (did not appear in last year's top 10)
  6. Sports tournaments and races (did not appear in last year's top 10)
  7. Fitness programs (did not appear in last year's top 10)
  8. Mind-body/balance programs (did not appear in last year's top 10)
  9. Programs for active older adults (did not appear in last year's top 10)
  10. Adult sports teams (down from No. 6)

There was a great deal of change in planned programs among YMCA respondents, with many types of programs falling off the top 10 from 2011 and many others joining the top 10 this year.