Sioux YMCA

On the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota, the Sioux YMCA offers academic, artistic, athletic, cultural, and recreational programming to empower children and families to reach their individual and collective potential. They operate from the town of Dupree and a unique summer camp at Lake Oahe, as well as in communities and schools across the reservation.

We worked with the Sioux YMCA on the programming and design for a new building and plot of land in Dupree, as part of a strategy to expand and enhance their programs. They needed new short- and long-term housing options to host the volunteers who regularly visit to provide essential services to their programs. A new site was also needed to provide flexible gathering spaces for meetings, activities, and events.

Through a design process with the Sioux YMCA leadership, we crafted a proposal (shown at right) that involved engaging the community with volunteer and local labor opportunities. It included workshops and local design opportunities, in a ground-up build that would strengthen the Sioux YMCA’s role of creating a place for learning and gathering. This proposal helped build support for the project.

Budget and time constraints ultimately led to a choice for a prefabricated building, allowing the YMCA to expand programming more quickly and dedicate its resources towards programming.