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Newly appointed Roger Corley, Community Executive Director of the Benjamin Harrison YMCA, stands in front of the new outdoor aquatic center in Lawrence.

Executive Director Roger Corley is thrilled that water lovers young and old are enjoying the facilities at the Benjamin Harrison YMCA’s new outdoor aquatic center. It is the first outdoor pool facility in the City of Lawrence, and it features a lap pool plus a spray park and zero-depth entry family pool.

This vibrant, 15-year-old YMCA has been at the center of community activities. It has active volunteers of all ages and now serves more than 19,000 members. Opening just 9 months after the closing of Fort Benjamin Harrison, it has led the way in the redevelopment of the old military base and continues to help attract commercial businesses located within the borders of the Lawrence Township area.

A Little Bit About the Pool

  • Holds 185,000 gallons of water (compared to Fishers YMCA with 155,800 gallons of water)
  • Four 25-yard lap lanes
  • Depths: Zero to 5 feet, 6 inches
  • Water slide: 12 feet tall with a 53-foot-long enclosed slide
  • Water features: Tidal bucket that fills with 25 gallons of water, then dumps it. A mushroom maze. Three geysers. Spin’n Spill with three buckets that fill and spill
  • Deck area with eight picnic tables with umbrellas, 50 chaise lounges, and 30 more chairs on order
  • Capacity: Holds 400 in pool and allows 800 in pool area
  • 30 employees, including 20 lifeguards and gate and slide attendants
  • Cost: $2.6 million, initiated by a $1 million grant from United Way of Central Indiana

The Benjamin Harrison YMCA expansion will also include:

  • Outdoor locker rooms
  • Family center
  • Expanded teen space
  • Multi-purpose space
  • Expanded child watch
  • Renovations to the gymnasium and lobby

Besides the United Way, other donors include the Fort Harrison Reuse Authority, Ruth Lilly, Chris Burd, Monarch Beverage Company, Jay and Christie Love, Central Indiana Community Foundation, and the Finish Line Youth Foundation. To date, the Y has raised $900,000 to complete Phase 1 of the project. An additional $700,000 is needed for the second phase, which will include outdoor locker rooms and a splash pad.

Through the support of the community, the Y empowers every child, adult, and family to be healthy, confident, and connected. Fort Benjamin Harrison’s members come from a diverse area including Geist, McCordsville, Fortville, and Castleton. Annual contributions also allow economically-disadvantaged families to send their kids to safe child care, as well as giving older adults a place to build social connections and health-seekers a place to achieve their wellness goals. The community around Fort Benjamin Harrison is faced with many of the same challenges that other communities face including lifestyle-related chronic illness affecting more youth and adults; the growing need for safe gathering places for families, and opportunities for seniors to stay active and connected.

For the last 120 years, the YMCAs of America have been teaching kids and adults how to swim and be safe around water. This family aquatic center contributes to the health and well being of our community growing stronger in spirit and body.

The community can donate to this project by contacting Roger Corley at (317) 547-9622 or by emailing for more information rcorley@indymca.org.

1 Comment

Tanya Swanson
July 19, 2013 at 1:50 pm

How much money is still needed to be raised to begin the outdoor locker rooms and splash pad?

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