Centre Avenue YMCA Renovation Kicks Off Feb. 14


The Centre Avenue YMCA is set to undergo a $7 million renovation over the next 10 months beginning in February. 

On Friday, February 14, YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh and ACTION-Housing will commemorate the kickoff of the Centre Avenue YMCA renovation project with an event at 10:30 a.m. at the historic Y located at 2621 Centre Ave. in the Hill District.

Supported by federal, state and local grants, including the lead gift from McAuley Ministries, the nonprofits teamed up to raise more than $7 million for the renovation of the 97-year old facility. The building is currently home to 77 single room occupancy (SRO) units, as well as programming space with classrooms, a kitchen and boxing gym.

“Our Y has provided housing in the Hill District for nearly 100 years,” Kevin Bolding, President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh, said. “This is a reinvestment in one of the Pittsburgh communities we call home and an important step in serving the underserved in our city.” 

Ownership of the building will transfer to Centre Avenue Housing Inc., a newly-formed entity  that will operate the housing facility.

“ACTION-Housing is honored to partner with the YMCA to preserve housing for one of our most vulnerable populations,” Larry Swanson, ACTION's Executive Director, said. “The building is an iconic piece of Hill District history, and now gets to be a vibrant part of its future as well.

Renovation plans include 73 housing units and community-oriented space affordable to low-income households, revitalizing not just an historic asset but catalyzing development in the walkable heart of the Hill District’s central corridor.

The four-story YMCA building was constructed in 1922 and served as one of the only social, recreational and cultural facilities for African-Americans in the region from the 1920s through the 1950s. The building received a historic designation from the City of Pittsburgh on August 8, 1995.