University YMCA
University YMCAthe Y | service, reflection and action since 1873
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The University YMCA moved into this historic building in 1938.

After examining our mission, the importance of the building, and new Principles of Stewardship in 2009, the Board chose some specific mission-oriented goals for the building's ongoing renovation and maintenance:

Building Green

Protecting the Integrity of Our Natural World: One of the most significant changes to our initial renovation plans included a commitment to seek LEED certification as a green building and the adoption of plans that would lead to a more sustainable, energy efficient facility. Although achieving these goals has significant challenges and costs in an old building, our Board is determined. As a result, the renovation incorporated a number of green features including:

  • Using energy saving technologies (i.e., motion and CO2 sensors)
  • New water efficient bathroom fixtures and high efficiency lighting
  • Purchasing low VOC materials for items such as paint, carpeting and adhesives
  • Improved indoor air quality upgrading HVAC, circulation and ventilation

Civic Engagement

Building Student Leaders: As we renewed our vision of the building as part of our programs, we reached out to students to help research and develop strategies as well as implement changes that will lead to a more sustainable facility. The result was the formation of five “Working Groups” of students from many different academic disciplines. Today, this project is an official University class (ENG 315), where students earn credit tackling challenges such as water conservation, energy use and lighting, etc. These working groups are developing a long term vision and creative solutions, while advancing their own commitment to protecting our environment.

Our Building as a Program

Renewing our Vision: There are other program initiatives we are considering that reflect the decision to view our building as way to advance our mission. For example, the dorms on our third floor have provided university students affordable housing close to campus. But using the Principles of Stewardship, it has been suggested that we explore a “living and learning community” for students interested in environmental, social justice or other mission related issues.


Please support the ongoing renovations by learning more about Capital Campaign or visiting the Support Us page to give now.