Founded in 1981, the history of the YMCA of Greater Williamson County began during the 1970s when the Round Rock United Way formed a committee to study the feasibility of a community-owned and operated youth facility.
Their efforts resulted in a United Way “Youth Contingency Fund” in 1976, which eventually became the seed money for the Y. The first Y executive director then began working from a portable building at the intersection of Liberty Avenue and Lampasas Street. From this humble beginning, Y programs in Round Rock began to flourish. That how the history of the Y started.
During the 1980s, the portable relocated to Main Street (on property provided by the Trinity Lutheran Home), additional seed money was raised toward building a Y facility, and the Jim Mills family donated 23 acres of land in northeast Round Rock. From there, the Y’s programs grew rapidly. In 1987, the Texas Baptist Children’s Home donated building space on Mays Street in Round Rock for a child care center and aerobics. One year later, a fitness center was established down the street by leasing space in a partially vacated shopping center. By 1990, the Y leased the entire shopping center before purchasing it in 1992.
Programs continued to expand through the 1990s as building renovations, including a teen center, multipurpose room, child development center, and kids gym, were completed. The Y then adopted a metropolitan structure in 1994, and also assumed management of the 50-acre Twin Lakes Park (in Cedar Park), which paved the way for park improvements and expanded day camp programming (with the start of YMCA Camp Twin Lakes operations). From there, the Hill Country Family YMCA in Cedar Park opened in 1997 (which would eventually become the Twin Lakes Family YMCA) and programs expanded to Taylor in 1998. The YMCA of Greater Williamson County also established its first school-based after school program in 1989 by partnering with Round Rock ISD.
Plans to build facilities to meet the ever-growing needs of Williamson County in the 21st century and beyond continue to this day. The Y is dedicated to helping children reach adulthood equipped for the future; providing families with adequate child care and recreational activities they can enjoy together; and helping communities stay together to build a safer, healthier environment. Our future depends on the strength of our children, our families, and our communities.
Although the overall Y organization was born over 150 years ago as the “Young Men’s Christian Association,” today, half of the Y members are female and half are over the age of 18. The mission of the Y is based on Christian principles shared by all faiths and practiced each day in Ys across the United States and in 130 countries around the world.