YMCA Announces ‘Strong Futures’ Capital Campaign for New Downtown Facility

The YMCA's CEO Chad Zaucha is pictured during yesterday's press conference. Photo by Steve LindellThe YMCA's CEO Chad Zaucha is pictured during yesterday's press conference. Photo by Steve Lindell

By Kristen McConnell, YMCA—

MUNCIE, IN—Leaders from the community gathered yesterday to announce the YMCA’s capital campaign for a new facility, located on the campus of Muncie Central High School, that reaches into the community, leveraging partnerships with Muncie Community Schools, IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital, Open Door Health Services, Muncie Area Career Center and Ball State University’s Healthy Lifestyle Center. Designed to be a healthy gathering place for people of all ages and backgrounds, it has already proven to be a catalyst for collaboration benefiting the community in a myriad of ways. Working together, all partners envision a deep and long-lasting impact on the individuals and families in Muncie and Delaware County.

Listen to audio of the full program of Wednesday’s event.


Mike Lunsford, Co-chair of the silent phase of the campaign said, “We were able to leverage the power of partnerships, use shared spaces and pool resources to ensure all partners involved in the new facility can work collectively to impact the health, safety and wellbeing of our community.” He went on to say, “Muncie Community Schools, Open Door Health Services, IU Health, Ball State University and the YMCA are positioned to impact the health, educational attainment and work force development outputs in our community and move the needle forward for us all.

Dr. Jeffrey Bird, CEO at IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital and capital campaign cabinet member, has infused his passion into the project. “With the efforts that IU Health and the YMCA are working on together, I am confident we will continue to see a positive impact on the health of East Central Indiana. It makes the work even more rewarding to partner with an organization that has such deep community roots.”

Plans call for a 73,000 sq ft facility that includes not only all the amenities the YMCA is known for, but will also include:

  • A competitive Aquatic Center in partnership with Muncie Community Schools
  • Clinic and educational space for IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital, Open Door Health Services and Ball State University’s Healthy Lifestyle Center
  • Internship and professional experiences for Ball State University, Ivy Tech Community College, Muncie Community Schools and Muncie Area Career Center students

Artist rendering of proposed new facility.

The building plans were developed through a multi-year planning process, incorporating recommendations from various consultants, donors and the greater YMCA community with a focus on health, safety, accessibility, efficiency and flexible space – ensuring the Y can adapt to the ever-changing needs of the community.

Chad Zaucha, CEO of the YMCA of Muncie said, “This transformational community project is not just designing and building a new facility; it’s about creating spaces that foster connection and support, providing necessary health, well-being, youth development and family services that will allow the people of Muncie/Delaware County to thrive for decades to come.”

Bryan Ayars, CEO of Open Door Health Services, a partner in the new YMCA facility, said “YMCAs across the country have found that locating health services within their sites not only continues the mission of wellness, but reduces one more barrier to individual’s wishing to access health services in a safe and convenient setting. Open Door Health Services is excited about our opportunity to be a source of health for YMCA members as well as community members and students and staff within the Muncie Community Schools.

The community phase of the campaign, announced April 19th at First Merchants Bank downtown, outlined the progress made in the silent phase under the leadership of Co-chairs Mike Lunsford and Mark Hardwick. Over the span of 18 months, the YMCA has secured $25,144,000 of an ambitious $28,500,000 goal. The community phase of the campaign, led by Tara Smalstig and Chris Cook, is tasked with raising $3,356,000 with a generous matching component provided by First Merchants Bank doubling every dollar in a 1:1 match during the campaign, up to $1,000,000.

Hardwick, CEO of First Merchants Bank said, “First Merchants Bank is proud to support the development of a new YMCA. To encourage community involvement, First Merchants Bank will be providing a matching gift up to $1,000,000 during the community phase. The health of our community is vital to economic development and sustained growth.  The YMCA and its partners will help attract and retain residents by offering a state-of-the-art healthy lifestyle facility and programs while also revitalizing this important live and learn neighborhood in Muncie and Delaware County.”

View the parking plan and aerial image of the proposed development. 

For more information on the YMCA or its development efforts visit muncieymca.org

About the YMCA of Muncie

The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. The YMCA of Muncie has served Delaware and Kosciusko Counties since 1881, with an excellent track record of providing quality mission driven programs that enrich the lives of all people in spirit, mind and body.

Visit the Y online at www.muncieymca.org or on Social Media @YMCA of Muncie.