Frequently Asked Questions
General Project Questions
What will this project mean in terms of community impact?
This project and partnership will be a catalyst for enabling and promoting healthy living for children, adults and families within our community. It will ensure that all, regardless of age and socio economic background, have access to world class, life changing health & wellbeing programming and services. Together, we are committed to increasing our capacity to meet that need and will strive to make South Wood County one of the healthiest places to live.
Why are the Boys & Girls Club and the YMCA partnering?
Both organizations are in need of updating their facilities. The board of directors for both the Y and B&GC recognized the opportunity to partner on a joint capital project. The mission and vision of the two organizations are closely aligned with a youth development and family focus as well as being responsive to community needs.
It represents a shared vision of improving the health and well-being of children, adults and families in our community through shared resources and capitalizing on organizational strengths.
It is a partnership that will transcend all ages and socio economic backgrounds, impact thousands of area youth and provide them with world class programming and services.
How will the partnership between the two organizations work?
Each organization will capitalize on each other’s strengths.
The Boys & Girls Club will provide all before and after school enrichment programs for children 6 to 18 years of age. This includes mentoring, arts & humanities and teen programming.
The YMCA will provide childcare programming for children 6 weeks to 5 years of age. The Y will provide all sports, recreation and health programming for children and adults for all ages.
Why the mall location?
The location is in the heart of the community and makes the new facility easily accessible to all 9 South Wood County communities within a 5 -10 minute drive time.
The mall location has many assets that benefit the project and the community. Benefits include:
- Being centrally located for the South Wood County region
- High accessibility and visibility
- Access to biking and walking trails
- Supports strong community linkages and program opportunities with the VA, Centralia Center, Wood County Health Department and the Tribune Building Project.
- It unlocks additional funding sources from outside the community in the form of New Market Tax Credits – this program helps to support 1/5th of the total project cost.
- Generates a central hub and gathering space for children, adults and families.
- Supports the City of Wisconsin Rapids Downtown Revitalization efforts.
In 2015, the YMCA conducted a market feasibility study that tested two possible options: HWY 54 next to the Aspirus Doctor’s Clinic and a downtown Wisconsin Rapids location. Both locations were viewed very favorably by respondents.
It is our view that this site location will optimize accessibility, visibility for residents in South Wood County and align strongly with key community priorities of: attracting & retaining young people/families, openness to new ideas, strengthening the economy and access to recreation.
What is the timeline for construction and completion?
Ground breaking is scheduled to take place in Spring of 2018. Construction will approximately last 12 to 18 months with a grand opening of the new facility in Fall 2019.
We will continue to update you and the public as we work through the process.
How much is the project and/or how much money will need to be raised?
Tentatively the project is estimated to be $26.5 million dollars. We are excited to share that we have some great momentum started and that we have already received some financial commitments toward the project. We envision engaging the community on a $5 – 6 million capital campaign.
How big is the new facility? What is being planned?
The proposed project will be approximately 80,000 – 90,000 SF. Of that, 20,000 SF will be specifically earmarked for the Boys & Girls Club. Tentative state of the art program spaces include:
Boys & Girls Club
- Teen center
- Classrooms for mentoring and homework help
- Computer Lab
- Art room
- Music rooms
- Wellness Center
- Group fitness studios
- Licensed childcare spaces
- 2 pools – a family recreation pool as well a separate lap pool
- Teaching and education kitchen
- Family Prime Time Area
- Community space
Final project plans will be shared with the community once our initial planning phases are complete – please stay tuned.
Will each organization have access to the other’s spaces?
Yes. BGC and YMCA will work together to share space and collaborate on new program opportunities.
Will there be green space at new facility?
Yes. We are working to construct a playground area at the new facility for both programs. Green space will be limited but enhancement of amenities in Club facility and ability to use YMCA space should minimize the effect of limited green space.
How can I support the capital campaign?
You can have a huge impact in supporting the project and our community through a charitable contribution of any size. It is the community that will build this community center and the community that benefits from and supports the long term viability.
What new programs and services will the Y and B&GC provide as a result of the project?
A portfolio of programs and services will be deployed by staff and volunteers based upon community needs. Initially, youth and adult wellness, sports and family programs will be offered in conjunction with childcare and afterschool enrichment programs.
We plan to address a spectrum of health and wellness issues, including youth obesity and chronic disease, nutrition counseling, weight management, corporate wellness and behavioral health services as well as preventative care services.
Are you building a new pool?
Yes, our project identifies the need for an aquatic center. Although the specific design and scope is yet to be determined, an aquatic center is planned for the new facility to include a family recreation pool as well as a separate lap pool.
What will happen to the Port Edwards and Wisconsin rapids locations?
The project is in the development phases and there is no definitive answer on the future use of our facilities. Specific programming needs will dictate the future use of the facilities.
Preliminary planning calls for the renovation of the Port Edwards Center. The newly renovated spaces will accommodate childcare, wellness and gymnastic programming needs. Some areas of the facility will be closed (such as the pool, others); however, the YMCA will remain in Port Edwards.
The Y’s Board of Directors is evaluating the future uses of our facilities. Their recommendation will be based upon the most financially and socially responsible long-term solution for the Y, fulfilling its mission and serving the community.
What is the relationship between Aspirus and the Y? Are they a partner?
Yes, the Y and Aspirus are partners in health. Through this partnership, Aspirus is supporting the Y’s capital campaign to expand and improve the Y. As the partnership evolves, it will provide an integrated approach for people seeking to improve their health and wellness. This will allow for an easy transition from medically-supervised rehabilitation to ongoing exercise programs.
Will the operating costs of a larger facility/new programs be sustainable?
Prior to starting this capital campaign, we worked with consultants to develop a business plan around working together with like-minded organizations ensuring that no one organization would be putting itself in harm’s way. Through this process, it was determined that working together is sustainable and in fact creates operational efficiencies.
Will membership or program fees be impacted by this project?
As an organization, the YMCA reviews membership and program fees annually. Membership fees are based on an analysis of staffing needs, utility costs and equipment improvements. Our intention is to continue on with minimal member and program fee increases to keep pace with occupancy growth.
Boys & Girls Club Related Questions
When does the lease with WRPS end? What will happen with the Pitsch center?
BGC leases the Pitsch Center from Wisconsin Rapids Public Schools. The current lease ends June 2018; BGC has requested an extension until fall of 2019. WRPS has plans to use Pitsch for facilities needs within the district.
What if BGC can’t stay at Pitsch until new facility is ready?
There has been discussion with the school district that if WRPS needs Pitsch school once our initial lease is up, BGC may move to East Junior High if it has been vacated. Discussions with WRPS are ongoing regarding this matter.
Will membership fees change moving to a new facility?
Will hours of operation change moving to a new facility?
Will any other sites be affected by new facility?
The Mead Unit will transition to the new facility when the time is appropriate. Nekoosa and Port Edwards Units will remain unaffected by the new facility.
How many kids will the new facility accommodate?
Final numbers have not yet been determined but tentatively the new facility will be able to accommodate 300 kids per day.
Will the summer program change?
No. The summer program structure will remain the same and provide a 10 week experience for members at the new facility as we do now at the Pitsch Center.
Will B&GC still provide transportation to and from school?
Yes. Between five BGC 15 passenger vans and WRPS school buses, we will continue to provide transportation to and from school.