(Artist Interpretation of proposed Marshfield Area YMCA, Design Unlimited – Dan Helwig – Architect AIA.)
By Adam Hocking
MARSHFIELD — Marshfield Area YMCA CEO John Nystrom and members of a YMCA fundraising committee discussed a vision for a potential $16 million remodel and expansion of its current facility at Monday night’s common council meeting. Plans include possibly increasing the facility’s square footage from 62,000 square feet to about 110,000 square feet.
Though what the Y is ultimately able to accomplish will depend on the financial backing it can muster for the project, Nystrom said the vision includes an indoor field house for sports like soccer, lacrosse, and flag football; a family swimming pool designed to introduce young children to the water; a new healthy living center that would have cardiovascular and weight training equipment with built-in socializing spaces; and a remodeled child care center with an outdoor playground.
The Y is also speaking with Youth Net on eventually bringing the after school program under the roof of the remodeled facility. The fundraising would occur in two phases, the first aiming to raise roughly $10 million and the second phase roughly $6 million.
“Really the thoughts are a combination of new construction and remodel. Now, what will we be able to accomplish? I have no idea,” Nystrom said in an interview last Thursday with Hub City Times, pointing out that the vision is one thing, but raising enough funds to make it come to fruition is another. “That’s what we’re seeking right now is to see what kind of support exists.”
Because the campaign is in its initial stages, Nystrom did not have a firm timeline for the project, nor did he have a figure for how much money has thus far been raised.
The fundraising effort is currently in a so-called quiet phase as the Y approaches key potential donors throughout the community to gauge interest in supporting the project. Nystrom said his board of directors conducted a feasibility study last year, which indicated that a project like this could gain traction.
Nystrom said the Y, which currently has about 9,100 members in Marshfield and surrounding areas, looks to serve the community in youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. The project would expand the Y’s ability to offer those services.
“The Y created this bold vision that we want to strengthen the foundations of our community,” Nystrom said. “We’ve also realized that we can’t do it alone, and we want to work with partners.”
Teaming up with Wood County Head Start to increase the scope of child care services and potentially partnering with the city of Marshfield on aspects of the project, including the pool, are possibilities Nystrom mentioned.
“We view this project as much bigger than the Y. It’s about making a collective impact on the total health of the community,” said Janet Stewart, a co-chair of the Y’s fundraising committee for the project.
The Marshfield Area YMCA opened in 1992, and a fitness center addition was completed in 2006.