A sparkling new YMCA spreads sunshine in the heart of Fort Lauderdale’s African-American community, promoting healthy mind, body, and spirit—and good citizenship.

L.A. Lee YMCA Mizell Community Center

Decades in the dreaming, years in the planning, recent months in the building, the $20-million L.A. Lee YMCA Mizell Community Center opened to an enthusiastic public reception in the Sistrunk corridor of Broward County.

Hailed in the media by Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis, as “A great time for everyone to come together,” the YMCA is a four-story structure with 70,000 SF of air-conditioned space and a 25-meter, four-lane outdoor swimming pool, the first such public pool in the neighborhood, featuring keenly needed swimming skills and water safety training.

The state-of-the-art Y is envisioned to serve the needs of all ages, from preschool to youth, from young adults to the elderly, and includes a preschool, youth zone, fully equipped fitness center with wellness programming, basketball and volleyball facilities, 200-seat black box theater for poetry, drama, music, and dance performances, classrooms, conference space, and a fourth floor dedicated to free educational and business training classes presented by Broward College. What’s more—and unique to this Y—is a ground floor with eight retail bays for local entrepreneurs, a pharmacy and nurse-staffed clinic managed by Holy Cross Hospital, and a food hub offering fresh fruit and vegetables.

SRS has been a decades-long advocate and supporter of the YMCA legacy and community model, and an integral leader and inspiration for master planning, conceptional development, architectural and interior design, administrative collaboration, and consensus building.