New YMCA location arrives south of Shreveport

SHREVEPORT, Louisiana (KSLA) – The YMCA is set to begin construction of a new facility in South Shreveport after receiving an anonymous donation.

The 30,000 to 45,000 square foot facility will be located in the Camp Forbing Marketplace. In 2014, the YMCA sold 30 acres of its Camp Forbing property to a Houston company called NewQuest. YMCA officials said they still intend to return to the area and build a new facility.

“We decided to give up something good to get something good,” said YMCA Northwestern Louisiana CEO Gary Lash. “We kept about 20 acres as a placeholder for this part of town. Now is the time to return a Y facility to Forbing. “

The new YMCA location will feature two athletic fields, a swimming pool and tens of thousands of square feet of usable space.

“We are delighted that the new Forbing YMCA is joining our neighborhood. It will bring so much family fun to our area for many years to come, ”said David Alvis of Silver Star Grille, a Camp Forbing Marketplace company.

The YMCA is also building a 130-acre outdoor education center adjacent to the BHP YMCA on Knight and Preston streets. The urban educational park, which will be open to the public, will continue YMCA traditions started at Camp Forbing, such as day camps, after-school programs, fishing, kayaking, hiking and tree climbing lessons.

“The YMCA of Forbing has meant a lot to so many generations in our community. We are thrilled to be able to continue the legacy of the Y in this region and this place, ”said Jeffrey Goodman, Director of Marketing and Development for the YMCA of Northwest Louisiana.

The history of the Forbing YMCA is long and full of interesting stories. In 1940, the Y took over Camp Lassa (Louisiana Sunday School Association) and managed the facility for 75 years. During this time, many young people attended, including Terry Bradshaw, who wrote his name on a wooden beam in one of the cabins.

A young Terry Bradshaw wrote his name on a wooden beam in one of the booths for what may be the first autograph of his illustrious career.(YMCA of Northwest Louisiana)

The establishment’s swimming pool was also built using profits donated by Elvis Presley when he gave a concert to Louisiana Hayride in December 1956.

Elvis Presley during his last appearance on Louisiana Hayride at the Louisiana State Fair ...
Elvis Presley when he last appeared on the Louisiana Hayride show at the Louisiana State Fair Grounds in December 1956. This is an unpublished photo provided by former Times photographer Langston McEachern.(YMCA of Northwest Louisiana)

The original Fort Moore sign will also be displayed in the new facility to honor the history of the Y in Forbing.

Fort Moore was erected and commissioned by the Young Men's Christian Association in February ...
Fort Moore was erected and commissioned by the Young Men’s Christian Association in February 1960 and named in appreciation for the life and service of Randle T. Moore Sr. (1875-1957), pioneer of Shreveport, friend of the director of the YMCA Youth , and civic / Business manager.(YMCA of Northwest Louisiana)

Click here to see the detailed site map of the Forbing YMCA.

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