The YMCA of Metro Atlanta received an Award of Excellence at the 2021 Atlanta Urban Design Commission (UDC) Design Awards in the contextual infill category for its design of the Y’s Leadership and Learning Center on May 28th. The Award of Excellence recognizes physical projects, programs and people located in the city of Atlanta that have improved the city’s physical character.

The Y’s Leadership and Learning Center, located at 569 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive NW in Atlanta, is home to the YMCA of Metro Atlanta’s headquarters and the Arthur M. Blank at E. A. Ware Early Learning Center. The facility includes six model Head Start classrooms, a regional training center for YMCA employees, an early learning readiness program, a playground and outdoor space. In addition, the 55,000 square foot center contains room to expand for future needs.

“The Leadership and Learning Center demonstrates the YMCA’s long-standing pledge to meet the needs of the city, to anchor a community, and invest in Atlanta’s children,” said Lauren Koontz, president and CEO of YMCA of Metro Atlanta. “Everything we do at the Y is fueled by our organization’s dedication to building healthy, confident and secure children, families, and communities.”

The Atlanta Urban Design Commission presented the award to the Y virtually on May 18 to honor the organization’s impact on the city. The Atlanta UDC was established in 1975 by a City of Atlanta ordinance to oversee changes of historic properties.

The new headquarters for YMCA of Metro Atlanta is located on the site of the E.A. Ware School, one of the first African American elementary schools in Atlanta. (Photo: Stan Washington for The Atlanta Voice)

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