2 children and a woman smiling from the side of a swimming pool.

Digging the Portage Pool

Digging the Portage Pool

February 17, 2022

The staff and board of the Portage Township YMCA are pleased to announce plans to launch a capital campaign to add a community pool at their location on Willowcreek Rd in Portage.  As a city located on the southern tip of Lake Michigan, water safety is of the utmost importance. Unfortunately, their residents have never had consistent access to a community pool. The plan is to provide residents with both an indoor and outdoor pool experience by utilizing a retractable dome. 

The Portage Township YMCA completed a building expansion project in 2008, but a fundraising shortfall precluded the pool from being a part of that expansion. It is a project that has been put off for too many years. 

The Portage Y has silently raised $811,000 through private donations, City of Portage ARP funds, and Redevelopment Commission funds. The total project is $4.15 million and the lead donor position, including naming rights is currently still available.  In addition to covering  construction costs, the goal is to raise additional funds for an endowment. The endowment will exist to ensure the pool will be around for many generations to enjoy. 

“It is truly exciting to be in the planning stages of bringing this fantastic amenity to Portage.  I honestly was not sure if I would see this during my time here at the Y, but I am so glad to be a part of this!” Shannon Burhans, President & CEO of the Portage Township YMCA states. 

The Portage YMCA is currently undergoing a feasibility study to assess all aspects of the project including existing facility upgrades needed, construction costs, and anticipated operational costs.  

The Portage Township YMCA has been transformational in the community for the past 44 years. Some of the key programs that benefit the community include:

  • A year round, daily food program dedicated to providing a FREE five component healthy meal to children.
  • A FREE six week cooking class designed to teach families how to cook healthy meals on a budget. Families leave each class with groceries to prepare the same meal at home.
  • Evidence-based programs, such as EnhanceFitness® and Blood Pressure Self Monitoring.
  • Before and After School programs, including SOAR which is a FREE daily program to teach middle and high school students life skills such as, self-defense, financial literacy, life-saving skills, and interpersonal skills. 
  • A group for Active Older Adults to plan activities and gatherings called Seniors on the Go.
  • A clinical float pod for those wanting to reset their mind and body.
  • 58,000 square feet of space designed to provide individuals and families with equipment, programs, and spaces to build a healthy spirit, mind, and body. 

As with all programs and services at the Portage Township YMCA, members and guests will have access to the pool through membership fees, guest fees or mission based free programming. If you are interested in supporting the pool project by volunteering on the capital campaign team, you can reach out to give@ymcaofportage.org or join our fundraising effort: