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Park Falls YMCA launches capital campaign project to build new facility

A rendering of what the new Park Falls YMCA could look like.
YMCA of the Northwoods
A rendering of what the new Park Falls YMCA could look like.

The YMCA of the Northwoods has big plans for its future facility in Park Falls.

Plans include a childcare center, gymnasium, wellness center, and community space for seniors and families.

Allie Plessner of Forward Insurance Company is a co-chair of the Park Falls YMCA Steering Committee.

She’s been a large part of getting the YMCA in Park Falls because of the need for childcare in the area.

Allie Plessner shares the history of how the YMCA got involved in Park Falls.
Katie Thoresen
Allie Plessner shares the history of how the YMCA got involved in Park Falls.

“We still have a need for childcare. Our community is growing rapidly. We've got a lot of new things going on and our city is working really well to get things off the ground,” she said. “This is going to be able to provide those people employment opportunities and growth in our community. We do absolutely need this childcare portion.”

The location has already been secured.

The soon-to-be former city hall building will be transformed into the multi-million-dollar facility.

The YMCA of the Northwoods staff and board members shared plans for the new YMCA at a meeting Wednesday night.

In total, it’s expected to cost $10.3 million.

The City of Park Falls received $5.6 million grant from the state last year. The YMCA is also expected about $2.2 million from the New Market Tax Credit program.

With those funds, the YMCA is guaranteed to build childcare portion of the project.

If they don’t raise any additional funds, they will still be able to be the childcare portion of the project.

The YMCA is now launching a $2.5 million capital campaign to secure the rest of the funding to build the gymnasium and wellness center and make sure the new facility is sustainable in its first few years. They need to secure those pledges by mid-December because of time restrictions on the state grant.

“What's where we are at, $2.5 million, just shy of $2.5 million away from this project being fully funded, to what we need to build every part of this project, and to get it off the ground. Pledges are needed. We need big donors. But we also need everybody, we need everybody to be on board for this project. And we need the funds to do it,” said Plessner.

Plessner says many of the things included with the Park Falls YMCA are what the community asked for. Things like a community space, workout equipment, and basketball courts.

The main thing they couldn’t include with this build is a pool, but YMCA of the Northwoods staff at the Wednesday meeting said they would be offering programming at the pool at the high school.

“We're excited. Like I said, especially in rural Northwoods, there just aren't options for the community to come together, for the whole community to be together. The Y offers that in a healthy and fun way. From diapers to pampers to grandfathers, it is important that we be able to transform a community and lift it,” said YMCA of the Northwoods CEO Linda May.

The new Park Falls YMCA will be a branch of the YMCA of the Northwoods.

Construction of the Park Falls YMCA is set to begin in 2024 and be finished by May 2025.

You can learn more about the Park Falls YMCA and the capital campaign on the YMCA of the Northwood website.

You can also follow along with the progress on the Park Falls YMCA facebook page.

Katie Thoresen is WXPR's News Director/Vice President.
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