The Casper Family YMCA in Casper, WY, has unveiled plans to upgrade its facilities with a $14 million, 38,000-square-foot building.
When construction is completed in 2016, the additional program space will enable the Y to boost its membership as much as twofold, says Brent Kleinjan, CEO of the Casper Family YMCA. It now has between 2,500 and 3,000 members.
"We have pretty low market penetration for a Y because our facility is so old, so we have lots of opportunity to grow," says Kleinjan.
The new building will be built directly behind the site of the existing Y, which has become outdated and inadequate for modern needs. The original part of the building was constructed in the 1960s, and new sections have been added over the years.
"It's just so old," Kleinjan says. “The building doesn't flow. It was kind of piece-mealed together.”
The new building will have a fitness studio, a fieldhouse, wellness center, indoor track, members lounge and child watch area, says Katie Adrians, the Casper Y’s development director.
The new fitness studio space will enable the Y to offer more fitness classes and increase the number of classes for seniors, as well as for youth. The studio also will accommodate nutrition and wellness seminars, and yoga, Zumba and FIIT classes.
The fieldhouse will enable the Y to have more teams compete in youth basketball, indoor soccer and cheerleading. With the added capacity, the Y will be able to start a volleyball league, more space for adult dodgeball leagues and youth floor hockey leagues.
The wellness center will be able to offer more personal training classes and accommodate more members at the same time. Having an indoor track means that adults and seniors will have a safe place to maintain a walking routine during the winter.
The building’s child watch area will provide a service not available in the existing facility. Parents will be able to drop off their children while they work out.
Fundraising, which is continuing, has covered most of the cost of construction.
After the new building is completed, the existing building still will house several programs: infant, toddler and preschool childcare; before- and after-school programs; and all aquatic programs. The space that now houses the weight room will be converted to a judo area. The existing large gym will be outfitted with turf to accommodate more soccer and baseball clubs.
Once the new facility is up and running, Y officials have plans for a second phase of construction. Preliminary plans for Phase 2 call for a new swimming pool, racquetball courts and new space for the Y's child-care program. Once that phase is complete, the existing facility--except for the existing large gym and the judo space--will be torn down. That will provide space for a large plaza-style skate park, an outdoor playground and parking.
Addressing all of the Y's facility needs at the same time would have put too much strain on the organization's fundraising capabilities, Kleinjan says.
"Including the pool and child care would have brought the cost to $25 million, and we didn't think we could raise that much that quickly," he says.