The La Crosse Area YMCA recently completed an expansion project that added more than 70,000 square feet to its facilities. A one-year capital campaign that began in January 2014 raised more than $10.8 million toward the expansion.
The organization provides services to the community from three facilities, a Community Teen Center, the Y North facility in Onalaska and the Y La Crosse facility in downtown La Crosse. The Community Teen Center was a completely new 5,500 square foot building created through the expansion project. It was designed so that the organization could focus on mental health issues in the teen community, while providing a safe and fun environment.
The Y North project added 40,000 square feet to the current facility by adding a second gym, a gymnastics center and an additional fitness studio and multipurpose room. The project also expanded the wellness center and track. This additional space also includes a teaching kitchen where staff members show how to prepare healthy foods. The Y La Crosse building added 25,000 additional square feet, which included a wellness center, fitness studio and group cycling studio. Prior to the expansion project, the wellness center was in the lower level of the building. It was cramped and had very little natural light.
Now, members are enjoying less congestion. The remodeled Y La Crosse facility incorporates a new Healthy Living Center in partnership with Gundersen Health System, an area hospital. The center is designed to help people transition from medical care to YMCA-based care, and help people think of health and wellness as part of their lifestyle. Gundersen physicians will begin to see patients in the facility early this fall.
“It’s a very exciting time for us. You only have so many opportunities to do this. The community has been so supportive of our work.” Bill Soper, YMCA Executive Director and CEO.