(Beloit, WI) Hillary Gavan, Beloit Daily News
The new Stateline Family YMCA Beloit branch site at the Ironworks Complex was bursting with activity Saturday.
As part of its groundbreaking ceremony and family festival there were children leaping through bounce houses, families running along the river and guests touring the facilities.
At 10 a.m. the crowd congregated for the ceremonial turn of the dirt by local officials. Hendricks Commercial Properties President and Chief Operating Officer Rob Gerbitz thanked ABC Supply Co. founder Diane Hendricks for instilling her vision, drive and passion for development in downtown Beloit.
With the new YMCA project, Gerbitz said her vision will continue to move forward. He thanked supporters of the YMCA, its leadership and board as well as Corporate Contractors Inc. for its quality workmanship.
“The YMCA offers so many programs beneficial to the community,” Gerbitz added.
Diane Hendricks said Beloit gave her, and her late husband Ken, opportunity. She then thanked everyone for making the beautiful community project possible.
Corporate Contractors Inc. President Brad Austin thanked Hendricks and Gerbitz for making Beloit better every day, and Beloit City Manager Lori Curtis Luther said Beloit is grateful to Hendricks and her team.
After the groundbreaking, runners, walkers and joggers joined in the Hard Hat Hustle, a 5K fun run/walk which took participants through downtown and along the river.
Jennifer and Andy Yeadon and their daughters Emma, 12, and Sadie, 12, came out for the run to show their support. Jennifer Yeadon said her two daughters have been in the growing gymnastics program at Stateline Family YMCA for years.
“The updates will be awesome for the community and those who go there,” Jennifer Yeadon said.
Miss Beloit Katie Zibert and Miss Outstanding Teen Montana Fallin were volunteering with kids’ activities and patiently waiting their turn to get into the “wrecking ball” bounce house. Fallin said the new location is more local, and Zibert said it will allow Beloit to hold more events downtown.
Saturday’s event kicked off the capital campaign to raise the $1 million left for the new facility. In addition to all the activities in the parking lot there were tours of the site, with renderings to help the community learn about all the new facility will offer.
The new YMCA is on schedule to open in February of 2017. The 80,000-square-foot site will feature an 8,300-square-foot wellness center, a Hangout Kids area for youth 7 to 14, designated exercise studios, an indoor aquatics center with lap and whirlpools and a slide, child care facilities and more.
The move was made official last year after Diane Hendricks donated the space and offered to take over the old site.
So far, the YMCA has raised $8.8 million through corporate sponsors, including Regal Beloit, which donated funds for the fitness center, and Kerry Ingredients, which donated funds for a kitchen and classroom space.
Donations to the YMCA Capital Campaign can be made in person or by calling 608-365-2261.