Pumping up downtown

(First published in the August 30, 2018 issue of City Pages)

The YMCA’s $40 million expansion to its downtown facility will include a new Aspirus clinic


Ghidorzi construction renderings of the new YMCA downtown campus and Aspirus clinic.

It’s no secret that the YMCA has been planning an expansion for some time, but Tuesday’s announcement made the word “expansion” seem mild.

YMCA and Aspirus officials announced a $40 million downtown expansion that will include a renovated YMCA campus, including a new fieldhouse, expanded fitness center and new $2.7 million senior center. It also includes a new Aspirus clinic that will be attached to the YMCA via a skywalk, according to renderings of the facility.

The senior center will include areas for socialization, health, fitness and recreation with things such as billiards and card tables. The 15,000-square-foot center was paid for by the Dwight and Linda Davis Foundation, which played a major role in its planning.

The new $20 million, 36,000 square foot clinic, which Aspirus has already committed funding for, will provide primary care and walk-in type services, as well as imaging and lab services. Aspirus currently provides physical therapy services at the YMCA’s Weston facility.

Modernization and expansion of the facilities include an expanded gymnastics area to meet the growing popularity of the program; all new group fitness rooms located next to each other, including a new TRX room; a new child care center that should serve an additional 55 families; and a significantly expanded climbing wall that will increase in both height and width, adding overhangs for more advanced climbers, says YMCA CEO Bryan Bailey.

The YMCA has already raised about $16 million of the $19 million needed to construct its portion of the project, all through private and foundation donations. Many of the buildings were being razed this summer in the area around the YMCA, where the expansion is happening.

YMCA officials hope to start construction by October of this year, and will do so in four phases. The goal is to have the facility fully built by 2020. The first phase would see the senior center built, Bailey says.

The YMCA’s campaign to raise the remaining $3 million for its portion of the started Tuesday following the announcement. Visit www.strengtheningourheart.com.