Artwork unveiled, shovels turned for new OrthoIndy Foundation YMCA in Pike Township

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — The YMCA of Greater Indianapolis and community leaders broke ground on the new OrthoIndy Foundation YMCA Wednesday and unveiled a model of the 8-foot outdoor sculpture that will honor U.S. veterans. Expected to open in 2018, the 56,500-square-foot center will be located at 5315 N. Lafayette Rd. in Indianapolis and will replace the current Y in Pike Township.

 The new YMCA will have child care and teen centers, an indoor pool, indoor track, gymnasium, and a demonstration kitchen, among other amenities, and will be better equipped to serve the growing neighborhood. It will also be the first facility of its kind in the nation to offer specialized medical services for veterans.

“The OrthoIndy Foundation YMCA will allow us to reach more families and better serve Pike Township,” said Eric Ellsworth, CEO & President YMCA of Greater Indianapolis. “Having a clinic on site will allow us to serve veterans as well. The diversity in the area will be reflected in this new center, and we can’t wait to see all of the great programs in action!”

 Numerous partners, including the OrthoIndy Foundation, Lilly Endowment, the Indianapolis Colts and the Irsay Family, have pledged financial support to help build the facility. The Metropolitan School District of Pike Township provided twelve acres of land for the new Y, and healthcare professionals from the Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center will staff the medical service area for veterans.

Created five years ago to improve the quality of life for those affected by orthopedic issues, with an emphasis on veterans and the elderly, the OrthoIndy Foundation has pledged $3 million toward the new center.

“As a surgeon in the Army I saw the real sacrifice our Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors and Marines make. The YMCA’s partnership with the Department of Veterans Affairs will serve veterans in ways far beyond the medical care they will receive,” said Dr. John Dietz, chair of the OrthoIndy Foundation. “The OrthoIndy Foundation YMCA will be a place that all people can go to build stronger, healthier lives.”

 Sculpture a “Salute” to veterans

The YMCA of Greater Indianapolis and the Indianapolis Arts Council conducted a national search for an artist to design a striking outdoor element. Sculptor Clay Enoch of the National Sculptor’s Guild was selected to build his piece, “Salute.”

“The sculpture will appeal to people of all walks of life and every generation,” said Aasif Bade, chair for the Pike Capital Campaign to build the new YMCA. “Salute will be a great place to gather and pay tribute to our veterans.”

Sculpture highlights

  • Five service men and women stand shoulder to shoulder, saluting each other, atop two 8-foot walls demonstrating the strength and camaraderie of all Veterans of the Armed Forces.
  • Each will wear a sculpted hat to represent their branch of service – the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Navy.
  • Veterans’ names will be added to the sculpture with a donation of $100 at YLovesVets.org.