WISCONSIN RAPIDS, WIS., December 4, 2017 – The John E. Alexander South Wood County YMCA and Boys & Girls Club of the Wisconsin Rapids Area are excited to share their plans to build a new facility that will house both organizations and provide synergies along with numerous opportunities with surrounding service providers. The new facility will include spaces for programs designed to address a wide range of community health, wellness and developmental needs.

The YMCA has completed the acquisition of the current Wisconsin Rapids Mall and portions of the surrounding property. The central location offers high visibility and accessibility for individuals and families throughout the greater south Wood County area. It is in close proximity to schools and neighborhoods along with providing great access via pedestrian, bike and vehicular traffic. The site will increase each organization’s ability to serve more youth and families in the service area. This was highlighted in an independent market study that demonstrated a 27% YMCA membership increase as a result of the initiative. Similarly, with one-third of its participation from the west side of Wisconsin Rapids, the Boys & Girls Club is well positioned to serve more children in the region.

Each organization serves over 1,600 youth under the age of 18 individually, this initiative will have a significant collective impact of being the largest and most effective provider of youth services in south Wood County. The new building will be a platform and vehicle to ensure south Wood County remains a community that is accessible and welcoming to all children, individuals and families through programs that support their health and wellbeing.

Collaboration on programming is a cornerstone of this partnership. Each organization will capitalize on each other’s strengths and eliminate program duplication. In the area of youth development, the Boys & Girls Club will lead all before and after school programming efforts along with teen enrichment and mentoring. The YMCA will lead all youth related health and recreation based programming. Not only will each organization utilize shared services in its partnership, they will have access to each other’s spaces thus eliminating duplication.

The campus will be a hub of activity that will generate strong linkages and program opportunities with surrounding service providers such as the VA Clinic, Centralia Center, Tribune Building, Wood County Health Department, and Wisconsin Rapids Community Theatre.

The proposed facility will be a combination of renovated and newly constructed spaces encompassing approximately 90,000 square feet. The total projected cost for the project is approximately $27.5 million. Construction is currently targeted to begin in late spring 2018.

Amenities for the Boys & Girls Club include: teen center, game area, learning center and study lounge, gathering and social areas, and arts and humanity areas. YMCA amenities include: aquatics center with two pools, one six-lane lap/teaching pool and one family adventure pool with whirlpool, health and wellness center, group exercise studios, teaching and demonstration.

kitchen, indoor walking and running track, child watch and family adventure center, full-day child care for 80 children, gymnasium, and locker rooms.

The Building Futures Together Capital Campaign is underway with a target of raising the final $6 million needed for the project. A team of nearly 20 individuals serves as the Fundraising Steering Committee. They will be led by Campaign Co-Chairs Phil Brown and Kurt Heuer.

“As a Y kid growing up in Port Edwards, I am so honored to be part of this incredible collaborative project and leading the Building Futures Together Campaign. There is no better collaboration that could have this kind of impact on our youth, health, and wellness and for our overall community. – Kurt Hueur”

“Having these two organizations teaming up to build a state-of-the-art facility that meets the needs of our youth and enhances the health and wellness of our citizens is truly remarkable. – Phil Brown”

Contributions to the project can be made online at https://app.southwoodymca.org/, through mail, or by phone by calling 715.818.6017. All contributions can be done now or by spreading payments over a period of up to five years.

The YMCA and Boys & Girls Club will continue to provide regular updates to the community through the project’s completion. For additional updates on-demand, visit https://app.southwoodymca.org.

About John E. Alexander South Wood County YMCA

The YMCA has been serving South Wood County since 1957. The Y is the place to go for family events, activities, and fun. Annually, more than 15,000 individuals participate in YMCA programs and services where no one is ever turned away for an inability to pay. The Y offers more than 100 programs for everyone from toddlers to active older adults. In addition, the YMCA runs seven before and after school programs that serve nearly 200 families in the community. During the summer, YMCA Camp Alexander offers the opportunity for 500 young people to experience the joys of day and resident camp. You can find more information at swcymca.org.

About Boys & Girls Club of the Wisconsin Rapids Area

The Boys & Girls Club of the Wisconsin Rapids Area provides before and after-school programming for youth ages 6-18 in Wisconsin Rapids, Nekoosa and Port Edwards. The mission of Boys & Girls Club is to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Boys & Girls Club focuses programming efforts on three key outcome areas: Academic Success, Good Character and Citizenship, and Health Lifestyles. The Club serves over 2,100 youth throughout South Wood County each year through membership and additional outreach programs for non-members. Learn more by visiting bgcwra.org and facebook.com/bgcwra. The Boys & Girls Club is a proud partner of the United Way of Inner Wisconsin.

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