NORFOLK — Construction of the addition to the Norfolk YMCA is officially underway – and the ones who will spend the most time in the new complex were the ones breaking the ground.
Executive Director of the Y, Randy Hagedorn, says the kids are the reason the Board was able to raise nearly $11 million in a town the size of Norfolk.
“That’s incredible. It just tells you what everybody feels about this place,” Hagedorn said. “It’s not meet, it’s these kids… what a neat thing we’re going to be able to do for them.”
Thursday’s groundbreaking ceremony was a journey four years in the making as board members solicited donations and designed plans. Mayor Josh Moenning says the project is exactly what city leaders envision when talking about enhancing the community’s quality of life.
“The link you are creating here to our high school, our new library, downtown and Johnson Park is one that will benefit the entire community for generations to come,” Moenning said.
The new addition includes a two-story wellness center, indoor field house, two new basketball courts, a baseball/softball training center and more parking.
Hagedorn says the extra space will let the Y host special events and unique classes.
“What’s so nice – we were so limited to doing stuff like that — because we just didn’t have the room because we had basketball games going on or we had classes going on,” Hagedorn said. “But now, with adding 106,000 square feet on, there’s so much more we’re going to be able to do.”
There isn’t an official timeline for the completion of the project but Hagedorn hopes to have some of the addition finished by the end of the year.
Hagedorn says the Board is still looking for about $1 million worth of donations to help sustain the project for the long term. Donations can be made by calling the Norfolk YMCA.