Racquetball Equipment

Beginning of physical works on the YMCA project | New

Earthworks are scheduled to begin this week as part of the Hastings Family YMCA renovation and expansion project.

Hastings Family YMCA CEO Troy Stickels said Thursday that Lincoln contractor Hausmann Construction will bring in equipment and begin earthworks, which will take a few weeks. Major demolition and construction will begin in mid-August.

“As a result, we will be moving out of the 16th Street location by the end of August,” he said. “It’s coming fast.”

As part of the project, the YMCA will renovate the existing 46,500 square feet of space in the 16th Street building and add lots of square footage.

Both of the Hastings Family YMCA buildings—the original YMCA at 16th Street and 18th Street—need substantial repairs, Americans with Disabilities Act compliance, and a more streamlined layout for operational efficiency.

Based on a community survey and strategic planning by key stakeholders and leaders, the Y has redesigned a space that includes renovating and expanding the 16th Street facility and selling the 18th Street facility.

Stickels said Grace Life Church will purchase the 18th Street building and lease the majority of the building to the YMCA while construction is underway on the 16th Street building.

The Hastings Family YMCA worked with architectural engineering firm Schemmer on the project.

The Early Childhood Development Center and Youth Programs will be located in the northeast corner of the 16th Street building, where the racquetball courts are currently located.

“There’s a lot of dirt work to level that,” Stickels said. “A lot of dirt work needs to be done before it gets cold.”

There will be additional parking on the north side for staff and parents taking children to daycare.

Two new basketball courts will be added on the east side of the building.

The 16th Street Pool will remain open during swimming season until mid-March. The swimming pool will then be closed until the end of August 2023.

“We don’t anticipate any disruption to the swim season,” Stickels said.

Changing rooms will be available, but no showers.

The entire project is expected to be completed in the spring of 2024.

“Unfortunately it takes eight to ten months to get some of the things we need,” he said.

On Friday, YMCA staff and volunteers are moving equipment from the 18th Street weight room to a space near the tennis courts. Cardio and weight equipment from the 16th Street building will then be moved to the 18th Street weight room.

Stickels said it was about being sensitive about putting everyone in one building.

“It will give people who are used to training on 16th Street a ground floor space where everything comes together,” he said. “We kind of separated the young from the old (with two buildings) and now we put them all in one space. We wanted to make sure there was a place where they didn’t have to climb stairs that was accessible to everyone. It will actually be a much larger space than what we have now here on 16th Street.

The cycling room will move to what is now a game room, formerly a racquetball court in the 18th Street building.

“All of our fitness classes that we currently have on 16th Street, we will continue with them and they will be in different spaces on 18th Street, but we are not going to have to cancel any classes during the process,” Stickels said. “We are lucky to have the space to do that.”

Physical works are about to begin despite the fact that costs have increased by 38% since the public announcement of the project on August 30, 2021.

The original budget was $13.9 million. Of this total, $500,000 was to go to the YMCA endowment.

Total cost estimates are now $19.2 million.

To date, approximately 98% of the $19.2 million has been raised. But the project still needs another $500,000.

“I want to make sure people understand that even if we start, we don’t have all the money,” Stickels said. “We continue to fundraise and we have yet to reach our goal.”

The Hastings Family YMCA received a $5 million grant from the state through LB566, the Shovel-Ready Capital Recovery and Investment Act, which provides grants to qualified nonprofit organizations to assist with projects in fixed assets that have been delayed due to COVID-19.

The YMCA was one of the few organizations in Hastings to receive funds through LB566.

The YMCA recently held a celebration, acknowledging its fundraising accomplishments thus far.

“It’s absolutely mind-blowing to think that we’ve raised over $9 million in our own community alone,” Stickels said. “How blessed we were to have some really big donations to kick things off. It’s huge for the community. I dreamed of the day when there would be equipment here to do stuff.