Fond du Lac YMCA, WI
The newly renovated Fond du Lac YMCA began with the vision of serving children and families in one downtown location. The facility is a collaborative effort between the YMCA and the local Boys & Girls Club to address the growing needs of their community. Combined with a complete renovation of the existing facility, new construction of 60,000 SF results in a 120,000 SF facility that creates new opportunities for families across generations and meets growing membership needs. The YMCA and Boys and Girls Club were committed to remaining in the heart of downtown, creating the need to build a contemporary community and recreation center in a somewhat urban setting. One way this was achieved was the use of complimentary iconic forms while employing contemporary materials, including glass and metal. The design creates unique entrances and identities to each organization, while blending the two at shared areas of the facility. Shared areas include the gymnasiums, multipurpose program spaces, and technology and arts studios. Adaptive re-use of older, 60s-era venues for new purposes include the renovation of the gym and re-use of the natatorium for the new Teen Center. The Boys & Girls Club has approximately 20,000 SF of space, including a dedicated entrance, and will share many YMCA spaces for programs. The primary elements of the facility, including the wellness center, gymnasiums and aquatic facilities are organized off a new central spine that was placed parallel to the existing structure for ease in structural framing. The two-story spine serves as a monitor for natural lighting, flooding all spaces adjacent to it. The spine also serves to orient and simplify the ordering of the large facility. The new family aquatic center has a large family pool and a 4-lane lap pool with viewing areas from the new lobby and the new wellness center on the upper level. The new family pool has numerous features including zero-depth beach entry, interactive water-play features, a large water slide, and a current channel. To introduce natural lighting to all 3 stories of the building, including the basement, penetrations were made in the floor of the existing main level. The basement level, originally housing the Life Management Center, was repurposed to accommodate a suite of exercise studios that include group cycling, yoga, and general-purpose activities. The Life Management Center is vastly improved, now on the upper floor and doubling in size to meet growing wellness needs. The new space is much more inviting to everyone seeking opportunities for health and fitness with abundant natural lighting and exterior views. Three new group exercise studios will allow for various multiple programs to occur at the same time. New areas for families include a family adventure center and child watch as well as a renovated childcare center that offers all-day licensed childcare. To the credit of both the design and construction teams, the facility remained in operation throughout the project. As a result of the project, the YMCA has witnessed an increase in membership from 4,200 units to 9,200 units. Contributing to the economical construction of the facility are tilt-up concrete panels used to form larger volumes. Contrasting the neutral color of the tilt-up panels, the design team employed vibrantly colored metal panel systems, with the colors helping to establish the unique identities of each organization.