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.