By Joe Bachman
“This project is going to be a win for the community.” – Zach Coleman
WISCONSIN RAPIDS — On Wednesday night, business owners and community leaders were given a sneak peak into what the future of the YMCA/Boys & Girls Club facility will look like.
The $27.5 million dollar 93,000 sq. foot facility is expected to open in the fall of 2019, with official groundbreaking slated to start in May. The ‘Building Futures Together Capital Campaign’ seeks to raise $6 million needed for completion of the facility — none of which will be funded through taxpayer dollars.
A ‘hard hat’ tour was given to those in attendance, which outlined the various projects and amenities, and where they will be located. South Wood County YMCA CEO Bret Salschieder led one of two tours, and spoke briefly about the future of each space — including the location of the former Younkers, which will be torn down and turned into a multi-use sporting field.
“We’ll be able to run our sports youth programs — flag football, soccer, T-ball, lacrosse — but it’s also going to be awesome for us when kids from the club to be able to come down here,” said Salscheider. “We think about program synergies, and this is where a lot of the magic is going to happen.”
On the YMCA end, features will include a state-of-the-art aquatics center with two pools, including a six-lane lap pool with whirlpool — access to group exercise and health and wellness, a teaching kitchen, an indoor walking and running track, day-care for up to 80 children, and a family adventure center.
For the Boys & Girls Club, amenities will see a gaming area, learning center, teen center, places for studying and lounging for students, as well as areas dedicated for STEM and arts programs.
According to Salscheider, one of the driving forces behind the project is to make available activities and learning experiences that may not be available for many children and teens in the Wisconsin Rapids area.
“…Having access to programming and amenities that aren’t available to them today — and that’s really what it’s all about,” said Salscheider. “With our kids, it’s being sure that everyone has access to these types of programs.”
For more information, please call 715-818-6017. Donations can be made to the project by visiting https://app.southwoodymca.org/