a better Y

Longtime Garden Oaks YMCA set for major makeover and updates

Longtime Garden Oaks YMCA set for major makeover and updates

YMCA Joe Harriet Foster Heights
The Harriet and Joe Foster Family Y is getting refreshed.  Rendering courtesy of YMCA Houston

A longtime and beloved Heights neighborhood community center is set for a major makeover.

The Harriet and Joe Foster Family YMCA will launch a two-phase renovation plan, set to “provide members with a refreshed, modern experience and more opportunities for connection,” per press materials.

Locals can expect a rejuvenated welcome center, an intergenerational room, expanded wellness center, a youth makerspace, renovated group exercise studios, and new, outdoor pavilion. Expect updates to be complete this fall.

Updates to the swimming pool have been completed, per a press release; it is now heated and ready for summer hours.

Highlights include the outdoor pavilion, which will feature an open, welcoming and adaptable multi-purpose court for outdoor group exercise, basketball, pickleball, and other sports. Meanwhile, a unique “makerspace” is aimed at providing youth the chance to design, create, explore, learn, collaborate, discover, and invent.

As locals are aware,  the YMCA of Greater Houston has served the Houston Heights area since 1919. The original Y, Northwest YMCA, was built in 1956. In 2009, the YMCA of Greater Houston renamed the center the Harriet and Joe Foster Family YMCA honoring a distinguished YMCA family, per a release.

The late Joe B. Foster served as a participant, volunteer, donor and advocate for the YMCA of Greater Houston since the 1960s. His wife, Harriet, and son, Bryan Ruez, continue to carry on their family legacy with deep involvement with the YMCA, per the organization.

“The Harriet and Joe Foster Family YMCA has been part of the Greater Heights community for more than 60 years,” said Stephen Ives, president and CEO, YMCA of Greater Houston. “We’re excited to provide the community with an updated, state-of-the-art facility which will provide the next generation with more opportunities for gathering, connectivity and growth. It is our core mission to be purposeful and foster meaningful relationships.”

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