By Dan Spalding
News Now Warsaw
WARSAW — The Kosciusko Community YMCA officially broke ground on Monday for what will be known as the Downtown Warsaw YMCA — the third facility operated by the Y in Kosciusko County.
The new facility will be different in several ways.
It’s part of a large residential development known as Gateway Grove just west of the downtown; it reclaims an old gym that was part of the old Madison Elementary, and will be the first YMCA in the county to offer 24-7 workout room.
It also relies on a collection of funding sources that include support from K21 Health Foundation, Lake City Bank, money from Kosciusko County’s American Rescue Plan Act as well as investment from the Groninger family.
The YMCA especially likes the location because it solves a dilemma officials have come to realize — that the community, to a great degree, is divided by US 30.
“When we looked at the demographics, 80 percent of our members were north of 30,” said YMCA Board Chair Scott Schneider. “As far as areas in Warsaw that could use some opportunity, we were really excited about this space space.”
The notion that local residents are hesitant to cross the highway, which includes some of the most deadliest intersections in northern Indiana, appears to be a necessary work around.
The land west of the downtown turned out to be a good fit.
“There’s a lot of people that can benefit from this. We believe the community needs this space and needs its accessibility,” said YMCA CEO Jim Swanson.
A large turnout of community leaders and representatives of the YMCA attended Monday’s groundbreaking.
Mayor Joe Thallemer also spoke and talked about how the project will benefit the downtown and tipped his hat to the Groninger family, which owns G&G Hauling and is developing Gateway Grove.
“We wouldn’t be here without the Groninger family’s vision and investment into this historic neighborhood,” Thallemer said.
Renovations of the 13,000 square foot facility are expected to cost upward o $2.7 million and should be complete by early 2024.