1990-2000:A Century of Service

Comments Off

In 1990, as the Fort Worth YMCA was celebrating its Centennial year,  it was also reaching out to meet the growing needs of its community with a campaign called Challenge ‘90 – Building Lasting Values.  The campaign’s goal was to raise funds to build several new YMCAs: one in the Southeast Fort Worth area, which became the Southeast Multi-Agency YMCA; one in South Fort Worth, which became the Ryan Family YMCA; one in North Fort Worth, which became the Clark Nowlin YMCA and additions and improvements to the Airport Area, Northwest, Westside, Eastside, and Downtown YMCAs.

The Southeast Multi-Agency YMCA broke ground for its facility in February, 1991 with a welcome from Southeast District Executive Director, Jack Booker. Speakers at the ground breaking included Bob Crow from the Amon G. Carter Foundation, Larry Eason from the Child Study Center, City Councilman Eugene McCray, Grover Colter and Art Thompson, President/CEO of the YMCA of Metropolitan Fort Worth. The Southeast Multi-Agency YMCA, which opened in September of 1991, is unique to Fort Worth as the only YMCA branch that also houses other non-profit agencies under its roof.  Over the years many agencies including Catholic Charities, United Way’s First Call for Help, Tarrant County and Lena Pope Home. In addition, two of the agencies have used space at the Southeast YMCA since it opened in 1991: Consumer Credit Counseling and Tarrant County College, which offers a GED program.

Southeast Y Ground Breaking

Eugene McCray, Grover Colter, Vernon Evans, Larry Eason, Art Thompson, Bob Crow, and Jack Booker at the Ground Breaking of the Southeast Multi-Agency YMCA

The Southeast YMCA also houses a child development center for pre-school children, which continues to care for and teach children while their parents are at work.  The pre-school center also houses a pre-kindergarten in collaboration with Fort Worth ISD.  Children focus on school readiness and work in centers to learn letters, hear stories and enjoy imaginative play.

Southeast YMCA under construction

Southeast YMCA nearing completion in 1991Children are read to at the Southeast YMCA Child Development Center

Other new programs and outreach in the early nineties  included the construction of the Lynn Searcey Aquatic Center swimming pool at the location of the Clark Nowlin YMCA in north Fort Worth.  The pool was opened in time for summer in 1991, and the building was completed in 1993.  In 1992, the YMCA began operating child care centers at two Fort Worth ISD schools: New Lives, a school on a separate campus for pregnant teens and teen moms, and New Beginnings, a day care center on the campus of Polytechnic High School. Those child development centers are still molding young minds and developing young parents today.
Clark Nowlin Y ribbon cutting

1990-2000: Continued Growth

Comments Off

As the nineties progressed, the YMCA of Metropolitan Fort Worth continued to expand for its fast-growing community and to refurbish and expand some of its existing treasures.  One of the biggest: Camp Carter YMCA.  A capital campaign was begun in 1997 to raise $4.5 million for expansion and renovation at Camp Carter.  During the campaign, some interesting collaborations were begun.  A trade was established with Castleberry ISD to allow them to build a baseball stadium on Camp Carter’s property; the new equestrian center was built behind it and accessable by the same road. Camp Carter also added new cabins, a new retreat center and renovations to the dining hall and office.

Ground Breaking for Castleberry Baseball Fields

Ground Breaking for Castleberry Baseball Fields near Camp CarterCamp Carter YMCA Retreat Center after it was built in late 1990s

Camp Carter YMCA Retreat Center

Camp Carter YMCA Retreat Center after it was built in late 1990s


Welcome to the blog celebrating the 120-year history of the YMCA of Metropolitan Fort Worth. In this blog, we will have information for those interested in history, Fort Worth or the YMCA – month by month, decade by decade.

Were you a YMCA member or participant years ago? Do you remember camp outs at Camp Carter or swimming at the Downtown Y? We invite you to share your YMCA memories in this blog – let us know what you remember or what you enjoy most now as a member of the YMCA. We can’t wait to hear from you!