It was all smiles as members of the Hillsborough YMCA, a branch of Greater Somerset County YMCA, came together to commemorate the reveal of its newly renovated facility.
“This project started back in 2019. But, when the pandemic hit in 2020, our attention
and efforts shifted to meet urgent community needs,” David M. Carcieri, president and CE of the Greater Somerset County YMCA, said. “Our Hillsborough YMCA team aptly worked to provide emergency childcare for essential workers, food security initiatives, academic support centers for remote learning, summer camp, and much more.
“It was, most definitely, a challenging time. Yet, it demonstrated our commitment to serving the community. The renovation and revitalization of Hillsborough YMCA is born of the same commitment.
“And that is what made the day so special.”
With the lift of the pandemic, the branch could focus on what they initially envisioned in 2019 – to make the facility more welcoming, accessible and reconfigure better use of spaces for members and their families during every visit to the Y, according to Ben Green, the YMCA’s district vice president of operations for Hillsborough, Franklin Township and Princeton.
Since opening to the community in 1996, the Hillsborough YMCA has evolved to remain a
vibrant and essential community center. As for renovations, “other than cosmetic stuff here and there, the ultimate impact is now,” Green said.
The renovation project, initiated in 2019, brings upgraded amenities to the facility including revitalized locker rooms, new universal/family locker rooms, an expanded Wellness Center with state-of-the-art equipment, three new classrooms for educational programs, and a modernized Welcome Center with social spaces. Importantly, all the renovations to Hillsborough YMCA were designed through a lens of inclusivity and removing barriers for individuals of all backgrounds and abilities.
With the reconfiguration, it provides a safer environment for the children in the childcare programs and provides a level of comfort for those in the various programs that the Y offers including the Livestrong program for cancer survivors, Green added.
The Y celebrated with over 60 attendees, including elected officials, dedicated branch
board members, supportive community partners, and excited members and staff on Jan. 31.
At the event, JD Bryden, deputy district director for Congressman Thomas Kean
presented Carcieri with a Special Congressional Recognition in commemoration of
the ribbon-cutting and opening of the renovated facility.
The Hillsborough YMCA revitalization project was funded through a capital campaign with the generous support of donors, as well as a Community Project Funding grant from the
Department of Housing and Urban Development. Yet, a gap to goal for the fundraising
campaign exists to complete the project.
“To finish the renovations, we continue to raise funds for this capital project as a meaningful, legacy opportunity rooted in the support of Hillsborough neighbors for
generations to come,” said John Cassimatis, board chair for the Hillsborough YMCA Branch.
A few weeks prior to the official reveal, Hillsborough YMCA offered its members a sneak peek during the temporary occupancy phase. Notably, a heartwarming moment unfolded as an older member signed up at the YMCA, with her granddaughter guiding her through the entire process.
“From addressing essential needs to thoughtful enhancements, the renovated facility represents progress we can all take pride in and is an exciting step forward for our community,” Green said. “The positive impact on our community for generations to come is something we eagerly anticipate.
“The renovation reflects our commitment to serving diverse community needs. With these
enhancements, we are well-positioned to continue providing valuable support to our families and the community.”
During the event, the Hillsborough YMCA staff provided tours of the facility to the attending guests.
For more information about the Hillsborough YMCA’s renovation visit,