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YMCA will sell local campus to reinvest in child care

Veronica Brezina



A rendering of the new and expanded Speer YMCA Preschool Academy. Image: Wannemacher Jensen Architects.

The YMCA of Greater St. Petersburg will be selling one of its local properties to fund additional infant and toddler care. 

The organization announced Monday that it will sell the Harbordale YMCA, located at 2421 4th St. S. The campus has been closed since March 2020, due to the pandemic, as the services it offered were redirected to other YMCA sites. 

The announcement did not disclose the details of the anticipated asking price and when the listing will come online. 

“The lack of quality, accredited infant and toddler care is a deep concern for the St. Petersburg community,” David Jezek, president and CEO of YMCA of Greater St. Petersburg, said in a prepared statement about the motivation behind the sale. “The proceeds from selling the Harbordale YMCA will be reinvested in the Speer YMCA Preschool Academy to meet the growing demand for childcare here in South St. Pete and to advance our children’s social, emotional, cognitive and physical development.”

The local YMCA division and St. Petersburg-based Wannemacher Jensen Architects have developed a conceptual architectural site plan to expand the existing Speer YMCA Preschool Academy, at 2100 26th Ave. S. The expansion would add 5,000 square feet and create infant and toddler classrooms for up to 48 additional children ranging from six weeks to two years old.   

The Speer YMCA Preschool Academy, which opened in 2015 to serve children aged 2 to 5. The 15,000-square-foot academy houses an early intervention and toddler development program for children and a state-accredited volunteer prekindergarten program. Currently, 98 students attend the two programs. The building also features a playground, a teaching kitchen, a community center and recreation areas.

WJA is also working with Harvard Jolly on building the future 111,757-square-foot complex that will be anchored by the Speer YMCA and the Mangrove Bay Middle School at the former site of the Riviera Middle School.  

RELATED: Inside the design process of St. Pete’s new YMCA, magnet school

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