YMCA’s location on Moore Street is steeped in history


The Sparta/White County Family YMCA celebrated its 30th anniversary earlier this year.  The YMCA’s current facility began as West Sparta Elementary School, which opened in 1948. Five acres for the school were acquired from Lester and Mada Allen for $6,000. The heirs of T.H. Fancher sold an additional 2.9 acres to the City of Sparta for $2,500 — for a total purchase of $8,500. The school functioned for nearly 40 years, closing in 1987 with the opening of Woodland Park Elementary.

In 1990, Mayor Bob Breeding and Vice-Mayor Margaret Pearson led the way in transforming the original building of West Sparta Elementary School into the City of Sparta Recreational Center. The original basketball gymnasium was left and is still used by the YMCA. On March 24, 1992, Jack Franklin, a Sparta attorney, signed the charter that made the Sparta/White County Family YMCA officially validated to function under the name of the YMCA. Through the transition, the City of Sparta continued to own the building. The original mission was “to serve human needs in greater purpose by providing quality programs that promote lifelong personal growth and the balanced development of spirit, mind, and body for all.”

“Over the last 30 years, with constant fluidity among the Board of Directors, CEOs, and staff, one thing has remained the same: a constant loyalty to serving the community. Our mission really has not deviated from the vision 30 years ago. Our mission is to serve as a positive catalyst for our community by providing quality programs that promote lifelong personal growth for all. We aim to glorify God by being faithful stewards of everything that he has is entrusted to us and help people love and remember their experience in Sparta,” Kyle Goff, YMCA CEO, said.

Goff stated he has three primary goals for the Y: Communicate and lead for God’s purposes and not their own, to relentlessly do the right thing for the community, and love the members actively and intentionally.

 “Each Y is independently operated and develops its own brand,” Goff said. “Each Y is welcome to create their own purpose, practices, and core values so the company becomes an extension of its leadership’s personality. Community is at the core of what I want us to be. America needs stronger communities and people that put others ahead of themselves.”

Visit the Y at any time and take a tour of the facility at 123 Moore Street in Sparta, email info@spartawhitecountyymca.org with questions, or visit spartawhitecountyymca.org to learn more about the YMCA’s programs and services.


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