A few unique features are planned for the new YMCA scheduled to open later this year in downtown Indianapolis.
The $24 million, 87,000-square-foot CityWay YMCA will have an instructional kitchen, two environmentally friendly green roofs and a living green wall in addition to the standard YMCA amenities found across the country.
The kitchen, also described as a culinary studio, will help teach individuals and families how to prepare nutritious meals.
The green wall – billed as Indiana's largest living wall at 168 square feet – will wrap the facility's grand staircase. The nearly 11,000 square feet of green roof space will have areas for outdoor classes, gardening and will be equipped with sustainable technology.
Construction of the CityWay YMCA began in June 2014 on the 14-acre CityWay development site. It is expected to have 15,000 members when it opens in December.
Franciscian/St. Francis Health is leasing 13,000 square feet for medical office space at the facility. It will provide primary and specialty care physicians' services, imaging, lab and therapy programs.
"This is a game changer for downtown. It's also a game changer for the YMCA," YMCA of Greater Indianapolis CEO Eric J. Ellsworth told the Indianapolis Star at a media tour Tuesday.
Plans for the three-story building also include:
- Elevated rubber running track (.10 mile) with views of downtown and Lucas Oil Stadium
- Indoor lap pool (25 yards, four lanes)
- Indoor therapy/recreational pool
- Sauna and whirlpool
- Three full-size basketball courts
- Wellness center with cardio and strength equipment
- Aerobic and multi-purpose rooms
- 950-square foot yoga studio with bamboo floors and sound barriers
- Cycling studio with a 276-square foot wall screen and room for up to 30 bikes
- Offices for "Top 10: Transforming Health in Central Indiana"
- Education/community room
- Child care center
- Non-denominational chapel
The CityWay YMCA is part of the Y's Strengthening the Heart of the City Capital Campaign to build three new facilities in Indianapolis. The Avondale Meadows YMCA opened in 2013, and fundraising for the Pike YMCA is underway. YMCA of Greater Indianapolis Spokesperson Tangela Floyd told Club Industry the hope is to break ground soon at the Pike YMCA site, but there is no proposed opening date.
Chris Butler was named the executive director for the CityWay YMCA earlier this month.
"CityWay is in good hands under Chris' leadership," Ellsworth said in a statement. "He has demonstrated that he knows what makes a YMCA successful: understanding and meeting the needs of the community you serve."
Butler, who has been a YMCA employee since 2002, most recently led the Fishers YMCA while serving as the vice president of operations for the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis. He will remain in his role as the vice president of operations.
"We've never opened a brand-new full-service downtown Y, so CityWay is going to be a special place," Butler said in a statement. "It will certainly serve all ages and abilities in traditional YMCA programs, but it will also have some amenities and programs that make it unique among YMCAs."
See the progress on the CityWay YMCA below in this WISHTV report: