The First Facility
In 1965 Mrs. Louise M. Smith, through two of her children Diane S. Wendland and Don M. Smith, approached the YMCA board with an offer to help financially with the building of a YMCA facility in Prattville. An offer of $150,000 was used as matching funds. Over $365,000 was raised and the first YMCA facility was constructed on a 10 acre site.
The first Board of Managers of the Prattville YMCA was: G.Ray Marshall, J. Harvey Clark, Oudia Lawrence, Rev. John Neville, Ed Gray, Lib Walthall, T.O. McDowell, Dorsey Wingard, Horace Powell, Mona Till, James Crosby, John Hargis, B.V. Ray, Jerry Sims, Paul Cox, Jim Striplin, Dr. Mag Northington, Dr. Fred Stanley, A.K. Buddy Cooper, and Ed Riddle.
In 1969, a second pool was added and in 1972 the Rotary Amphitheater was a new addition. Tennis courts were added in 1974 and a gymnastics gym was constructed in 1976. In 1979, 19 acres of land was donated to the YMCA located on McQueen Smith Road, this would some 21 years later be the location of the new Willis Bradford Branch. In 1983 the YMCA received a gift of 32 acres adjacent to the main building. In 1985 a fitness center was started in the shopping center mall in front of the main building. After the success of the fitness center a capital campaign was completed to construct a new building to house the Fitness Branch and Child Care building along with a major renovation of the Don M. Smith building (main Y). During the next several years athletic fields were constructed, expansion of the Fitness Branch, and a pavilion built at the east site. In 1998 one pool at the Don M. Smith Branch was covered for year round swimming and plans were finalized for a full facility branch at Prattville East. In June 2000 that new facility was completed and opened with two pools, two gymnasiums, an indoor play room, cardiovascular exercise area, and a licensed pre-school with four classrooms.
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