That 'thing' we've been talking about forever ... it's happening!
In 2014 our CEO, Alison Leonard, met with a company within the YMCA called GROW to determine if we needed to add more space or just renovate and make better use of the current space. Turns out we really needed to do both! I'll spare you all the details but since that initial meeting with GROW we have done a Community Needs Assessment, had a Feasibility Study done and formed a Steering Committee that developed a Campaign Planning Council. In January of 2018, Volunteer Committees were formed for facilities, resources, recognition, and communication portions of the campaign. In June of 2018, we officially kicked off the Campaign to raise 6 million dollars. Whew! Today we are at $4.6 million and still going strong in our fundraising efforts.
To a lot of us that work at the Y and volunteer for any of the committees, it seems like the renovation was something we would just talk about and work towards forever; I'm not sure that any of us actually pictured the day that we would begin to move out of our offices. Or say goodbye to the lobby and wellness room where so many memories have been made and relationships formed. It was definitely a bittersweet experience, but also so incredibly exciting!
On March 3rd all of us moved from our nice, cushy offices to the construction trailer parked at the south end of the building. Now don't get me wrong, we aren't complaining about the trailer, but we are so glad that we all like each other! Four desks, two bookshelves, a printer, four filing cabinets, a microwave, a mini-fridge, and 4-5 people make for a cozy atmosphere. BUT! We are very thankful for this (heated and cooled!) trailer, the friendships that are sure to grow stronger while in it, and the fact that we only have to move one more time.
On March 4th & 5th Brent Ruiz, Ron Fehn, Alison, and myself went to Minneapolis to check out the new equipment that will be going into the new wellness room. Not only did we get to use the equipment (it's soo nice!) and pick out colors, we were able to tour the facility where it's manufactured. We can assure you, every piece is made with care!
March 7th was Moving Day. Some people doubted that we would be able to get everything moved from the old wellness and quick fit rooms to the gymnasium and that it would even fit, but with the help of some amazing volunteers, we did it! We have managed to condense about 75% of the Y into the gymnasium. Again, good thing we're all friends here. :)
We've hit a couple of snags along the way but are so very thankful for the patience of our members and staff. We appreciate those of you that have come to us with suggestions or needs that we didn't think of. Everyone that we've talked to this week has been so kind and excited to see progress taking place!
In the meantime, we feel like the building itself is letting out a sigh of relief and letting go. Just this week we've had a water heater malfunction, a pipe under a sink begin to leak (leak is an understatement), and the popcorn popper quit popping. And none of this was related to construction! Our building is so tired, and I imagine it's thankful for the upgrade.
We've learned a few things already... like the fact that the only way to the pool is through the locker rooms. Where people shower. With no shower curtains. If that doesn't scream 'Welcome to the Y, hope you're enjoying your New Member Tour!', I don't know what does. A curtain to the shower area is going up ASAP. We learned how to put together a hard hat ... it's a little tricky. We learned that the Sampson guys knew what they were doing when they chained our trailer to the ground. I'm confident that the wind would have knocked us off our cinder blocks and we'd still be rolling somewhere north of Sioux City.
Most importantly, we've learned that we belong to and work for the best Y ever and we can't wait to take y'all on this adventure with us! We will aim to put up a new blog post every week to keep you in the loop and maybe a little entertained. And we promise to include tons of pictures. Enjoy the ride! Blog can be found on our website (www.beatriceymca.org) under the Capital Campaign drop-down.