Mayor Thomas M. McDermott Jr.

Crossroads YMCA announces new Destination YMCA in Hammond


Crossroads YMCA is pleased to announce a partnership with the City of Hammond and Mayor Thomas M. McDermott, Jr. to create a new and expanded YMCA at the former Woodmar Mall/Carson Pirie Scott site. Last December the City and the YMCA began discussions on an expansion of Hammond’s current YMCA. From those discussions, it became apparent that Hammond and the surrounding areas needed a YMCA that would serve the larger needs of the community.

The new destination YMCA includes over 100,000 square feet of space, over three times larger than the YMCA’s current Hammond facility. The new YMCA will provide Hammond a state-of-the-art facility that will include programming to address wellness and provide a safe place for kids and families. The YMCA’s presence in Hammond has never been stronger—with a $3M+ 2019 renovation completed at its current location, 7322 Southeastern Avenue. Since that time, membership and programming continue to thrive and grow, confirming the need for expansion of the YMCA presence in Hammond.

The new Destination YMCA will benefit from financial commitments from the Dean & Barbara White Family Foundation and the City of Hammond through Mayor Thomas M. McDermott, Jr. and the city’s Redevelopment Commission. “Partnering with the YMCA to bring a destination attraction for families will complete the rebirth of the former Woodmar Mall site. The city’s commitment to the very successful Sportsplex next door creates a complete campus for families to enjoy both facilities for years to come,” said Mayor McDermott.

Bill Hanna, Executive Director of the Dean and Barbara White Family Foundation shared, “The mission of the Dean and Barbara White Family Foundation is to partner in the creation of catalytic facilities, and support of non-profits that will enhance the quality of life of the residents of Northwest Indiana. The foundation’s areas of focus are education, health and wellness, youth, community, economic development, and sustainability. A new destination YMCA in Hammond will be a community centerpiece that will have amenities on par with the best YMCAs in the country. It will also be an anchor for additional private investment and economic prosperity for the nearby neighborhoods and businesses. This project will have a positive impact on each of the priority interests of the Foundation. We are obligating $10,000,000 to the match the City’s contribution dollar for dollar.”

The YMCA expects the new location to serve up to 50,000 people in North Lake County. “Our goal is to complete fundraising by the end of the year, start construction in 2022, and open the new YMCA in 2024,” said Jay Buckmaster, CEO at Crossroads YMCA.

The new YMCA in Hammond will benefit the community in the following ways:

  • Offer additional experiences for kids to be healthy and active, to explore interests, to grow self-confidence;
  • Provide a place for quality family time;
  • Be a safe place for kids;
  • Additional capacity and classes for kids/families to be safe around water;
  • Support families by expanding summer learning loss prevention through programs like day camp;
  • Address chronic disease by providing programs geared around water and land exercises;
  • Expand programs and services for our seniors to include low impact water and level classes;
  • Increase job opportunities—the new facility will add approximately 200 jobs

The completion of this project will require raising additional funds. The YMCA is pleased to announce an exciting match program for supporters in the community. There are many room/area sponsorships available and the Dean and Barbara White Family Foundation will match your gift to help support funding for the resources needed to complete the entire project. “We are making a matching fund of $15,000,000 dollars available. We will be providing a dollar and a half, for every dollar donated, to support the YMCA’s fundraising goal. This is an excellent opportunity for businesses and individuals to participate in a game-changing project,” said Bill Hanna. If you are interested in helping create this life-changing YMCA for our community through a matching gift, please contact Jay Buckmaster (CEO of Crossroads YMCA) at or call 219.235.9768.