Major milestones have been achieved in the overall expansion and renovation of the Woodson YMCA, offering members a vibrant new environment and many new program areas.
The 37,000 square foot expansion is complete, including the new Field House, Track and Program Gym, in addition to The Landing, the only activity center of its kind in Wausau specifically designed for the 55+ crowd (to be outlined in follow up to this article). The comprehensive Wellness Center renovation is also finished, positioning the strength and cardio training areas adjacent to each other for members to maximize their workout. Finally, members are enjoying an all new entry experience with a re-positioned Reception Area that is larger and strategically located for convenient circulation to all program areas of the facility.
The transformation of the Woodson YMCA began a year ago as an investment in membership and the Wausau community to create a platform for innovation and growth for years to come. This forward looking project equips the downtown branch with what’s now and what’s next in health and wellness, enhancing vital programming, modernizing the facility, adding cohesiveness to the building and serving as a vibrant downtown redevelopment. The design also achieves a fresh new look inside and with an exterior that blends with the existing building. Ghidorzi is serving as master planner, architect, general contractor and interior design for the project, which will continue through Spring of 2020. Following is a closer look at these major milestones.
The new Field House is a spacious gymnasium featuring an exposed upper level track uniquely equipped with floor-to-ceiling windows that energize the whole space with abundant natural daylight and grand views of Wausau. The Field House offers one regulation size basketball court that can be divided into two half courts. Extra floor depth around the gymnasium perimeter is an added amenity that delivers program versatility and circulation space. The upper level track has athletic flooring that provides walkers and runners with maximum traction and cushion. An alder wood handrail with stainless steel mesh railing was designed for safety with industrial appeal that enhances the aesthetics of the space. Day lockers are conveniently located outside the gym for secure storage of personal belongings.
The new Program Gym features three pickleball courts and a half regulation basketball court. This multi-use space is large enough to accommodate group programming such as meetings, seminars and fitness classes and is well equipped with a state-of-the-art audio visual system. Generous upper windows flood the Program Gym with natural light, while convenient cubbies and coat hooks were built for members to store personal belongings. An upper level viewing area with soft seating and restrooms is also available for spectators.
The new Wellness Center is comprised of 13,584 square feet of renovated space on the upper south end of the building. The open concept design positions the cardio and strength training areas adjacent to each other with a reception desk, storage lockers and restrooms in between. The Wellness Center now offers private rooms for personal training and wellness consultations.
The strength training area occupies the west half of the Wellness Center. The new space increases the capacity of the strength training area for members with a larger footprint to accommodate more equipment, greater floor space and additional mirrors. Windows are another welcome addition to the strength training area. The floors are equipped with extra thick flooring specially designed to sustain the impact of heavy weights, while providing excellent foot traction and maximum sound absorption.
The cardio area resides on the east half of the Wellness Center with elevated views of Yawkey Park. This space features an efficient layout to accommodate a wide range of equipment and a dedicated zone for stretching and cool down.
New Entry and Reception Area
The new Entrance and Reception Area are conveniently located off the main parking lot with direct access to all areas of the facility. This single point of entry provides enhanced security and clear sightlines to the parking lot, building entrance and connecting corridors. The new reception area equips staff with circulation room, counter space and technology needed to serve a greater volume of guests. Natural daylight and views of the upper level enhance the member arrival experience and work environment for staff.
In the final phase of construction, a Social Hub will be added at the main entrance to provide a place of interaction for all ages with various seating configurations, a coffee counter and multi-use room with demonstration kitchen.
Momentum continues into the next phases of the Woodson YMCA expansion and renovation. The focus will shift to additional program areas, such as the Gymnastics Center, Group Exercise Studio and Youth Activity Center, all of which are outlined on the project website at http://strengtheningourheart.com/. As the project nears its estimated completion date in Spring of 2020, the streamlined building flow will begin to emerge. The overall design achieves adjacency for complementary programs and existing square footage of the facility maximized for programming with the addition of quality space for socializing, drop zones and day locker storage. The second level of the building will feature a new walkway for seamless travel between program areas. Several restrooms have been repositioned and added for convenience in key locations.
Stay tuned next week for a photo overview of The Landing activity center for adults ages 55+ that opened its doors on Monday, October 14.