Celebrating 15 Years in our current location!

Established in 1886, the Sioux City YMCA operated in a former church until its first facility was built on the corner of 7th and Pierce Streets in downtown Sioux City, Iowa in 1892 for less than $50,000. 

In 1956, the Y moved to a brand new facility at 722 Nebraska Street following a successful capital campaign that raised more than $700,000. It replaced the outdated building two blocks away and included a separate entrance for boys and men and two floors of overnight residences. 

The Nebraska Street facility was home to the Siouxland Y for more than 50 years, but as the facility aged and the community needs changed, the now Norm Waitt Sr. YMCA broke ground on a new facility just across the Missouri River in Scenic Park, South Sioux City, Nebraska. The new 62,000 square foot, $11 million dollar facility opened in January 2008. 

With more than a century of serving the Siouxland community, the Y has impacted thousands and thousands of lives, inspiring members and participants to achieve greater well-being through healthier and more active lifestyles. Today, Y's around the world serve more than 20 million youth, families, and individuals, providing opportunities for Youth Development, Healthy Living, and Social Responsibility.



The YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association) began in Great Britain in 1844 in response to the needs of young men seeking refuge from the streets of London during the Industrial Revolution. The Y reached the United States in 1851, and since then, it has grown into a global non-profit organization (in 199 nations!) focused on helping people of all backgrounds reach their potential. 

The Y is responsible for the inventions of: 

  • Basketball (1891 Massachusetts)
  • Volleyball (1895, originally called Mintonette)
  • Summer Camp (1885 in New York)
  • Group Swimming Lessons & Water Safety Classes (1909 in Michigan) 
  • Racquetball 
  • "Bodybuilding" (Modern fitness workouts in 1856) 
  • Night School (1900)

Our Rich Siouxland YMCA History

1884     YMCA organized by 90 members (August 14 at 318 Pearl Street, Sioux City)
1886     YMCA incorporated – for the purpose of “improvement of the spiritual, moral, mental, social and physical conditions of young men” (January 3)
1888     Largest Y in Iowa with 650 members
1889     Purchased site at 7th & Pierce Streets for $20,000
1893     New building dedicated and opened (February 5)
1939     Facility modernized
1955     Groundbreaking for the new building at 8th & Nebraska Streets, Sioux City
1956     New Siouxland Y facility opened (November)
1985     YMCA & YWCA merge
2008     State of the art new facility – the Norm Waitt Sr. YMCA – opened at 601 Riverview Drive, South Sioux City, NE
2011     Membership reaches all-time high: 7,500 members (April)
2011     Temporarily relocated to Long Lines Family Rec Center during Missouri River flood (June)
2016     130th Anniversary celebrated with ‘130 Years of Impact’ (February 10)
2018     New CEO – February 26, 2018
2020     COVID-19 Pandemic YMCA shut down temporarily March 2020
2020     Norm Waitt Sr. YMCA operates as a "Y Without Walls" providing emergency child care, food distributions, blood drives, and community aid March - June 2020
2020     Our facility re-opens to the public with an adapted phased approach reopening plan in June 2020
2021     Norm Waitt Sr. YMCA offers Y Preschool program for the first time in August 2021