by ALEXANDRA RETTER
Following years of fundraising and planning, the construction of the new Winona Family YMCA is more than 85-percent finished. Small group tours of the space are being offered this week.
Winona Family YMCA CEO Janneke Sobeck said that after the years and years of work that have gone into bringing about a new YMCA, “It almost feels surreal” for the facility to be nearing completion.
“The community has been planning for this and fundraising for this for about eight years, and I’m lucky enough to be in a leadership position at the tail end of this to bring it home,” she noted. “It’s a true honor to be able to lead at this time, especially through COVID.”
Sobeck said she is excited that some parts of the facility, including the wellness center, racquetball courts and gymnasium, will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week for those members who sign up for a 24/7 membership.
She is also enthusiastic about the space having a universally accessible design and being compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, she shared. The design of the facility is efficient, making the space easy to navigate, she said.
Sobeck is looking forward to a cafe being located in the lobby as well, she noted. The cafe will be open to the community.
Additionally, she explained that as someone with a preschool-aged child, she is happy about the family fun center, which includes a playground structure for kids and a boulder wall.
Other features of the facility include a six-lane indoor pool, a sauna, a whirlpool, a steam room and massage therapy through Winona Health.
Overall, the space is open, bright and welcoming, Sobeck noted. “It very much has an open concept when you walk into the facility,” she shared. There are many windows, and the ceilings are high, she said. There is also a welcome desk at the front entrance and a lobby with a lounge area. “We’re trying to bring people in and make them feel welcome and comfortable,” she stated.
Partnerships with Winona Health, Live Well Winona and the American Red Cross will be in place at the facility. Winona Health’s physical therapy, speech language pathology and occupational therapy services will be housed in the space, and Live Well Winona and the American Red Cross will have offices in the facility.
Through the collaboration with Winona Health, someone who has finished a rehabilitation program may be introduced to a YMCA trainer or learn about a particular piece of exercise equipment at the YMCA they could use so they may continue their rehabilitation, Sobeck shared.
She said she appreciates that the American Red Cross will have space on-site at the facility and be able to complete their work, such as blood drives, with ease.
A soft opening of the space is anticipated, Sobeck said, and a grand opening may take place toward the beginning of 2021.
The fee that is typically charged to join the YMCA is currently being waived. There is also a financial assistance program for which those who are interested may apply.
Tours of the facility are currently being offered through November 20. Interested adults may sign up at https://www.winonaymca.org/.
The new Winona Family YMCA is located at 902 Parks Avenue.