Downtown Warsaw YMCA Features Gym & 24/7 Workout Space

June 10, 2024 at 8:37 p.m.
Downtown Warsaw YMCA held its grand opening Monday. The facility is at 575 W. Fort Wayne St., Warsaw. Photo by David Slone, Times-Union
Downtown Warsaw YMCA held its grand opening Monday. The facility is at 575 W. Fort Wayne St., Warsaw. Photo by David Slone, Times-Union

By DAVID L. SLONE Managing Editor

During Monday’s grand opening of the new Downtown Warsaw YMCA, Kosciusko Community YMCA members and potential members streamed in the facilities to check out what it had to offer.
The grand opening for the approximate 4,700-square-foot two-level building featured a raffle, tours and member sign-ups.
The Downtown Warsaw YMCA is in the former Madison Elementary School gymnasium at 575 W. Fort Wayne St., nestled next to the Gateway Grove housing addition. A groundbreaking ceremony for the building took place in October, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony being planned for a few weeks out.
Providing a walk-through tour, Kosciusko Community YMCA Chief Executive Officer Jim Swanson said the upper floor is the 24 hours a day, seven days a week space. Regular hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. When the YMCA closes at 8 p.m., members with access codes can still drop in to use the treadmills, free weights and other gym equipment.
“We bought all new. A lot of weight-lifting tends to be the preference, more strength-training than cardio now, so you’ll see in a lot of places kind of a shift toward strength, so that’s what we did in here, too,” Swanson said. “I think we have a lot of distinct and unique pieces, with the plate machines and things like that.”
The equipment chosen for the Downtown Warsaw YMCA was based on what members were using at the other YMCA facilities.
Upstairs also offers two restrooms with a shower in each that are like a family changing room, he said.
Throughout the building, there are remnants of the former Madison school, including a few lockers across from the bathrooms.
Not available at this time after hours is the gym down the stairs from the workout space, but Swanson said they’ll see where that goes down the road.
“We renovated this space. The restrooms, obviously, are original. We updated them all. Updated flooring. Painted more lockers,” he said at the bottom of the stairs, and then pointed to the athletic office space next to the gym for programming. “And then we redid the gym.”
The bleachers were taken out of the gymnasium, which Swanson said makes it feel large. The wood was stripped down to the bare wood, refinished and striped.
“So you have volleyball - two courts. You have basketball that goes each way. And then three pickleball courts,” he said.
The pickleball courts’ lines are green. Volleyball’s are gray east/west and white north/south, with the lines for basketball being red and black.
“Volleyball, basketball are really, really popular for us in adult leagues, and more sports performance in youth leagues. Pickleball, we’re just getting into. There’s a lot of facilities in town, but we think we’ll pick it up in the winter when” everyone heads indoors, Swanson stated.
“Our goal is to make this successful, so we’re looking at curtain models, but we don’t have curtain separators in here yet. We’re still trying to figure that out.”

    A woman checks out the Downtown Warsaw YMCA fitness equipment Monday during the grand opening. Photo by David Slone, Times-Union
 
 

The Downtown Warsaw YMCA gym will be an overflow space for the YMCA’s adult volleyball league. This year, the YMCA ran two adult volleyball leagues and had to turn teams away.
“So this box will open up. Like the Wabash team would probably play here. They come in from Wabash, so we would just run all three gyms,” Swanson said.
Kid leagues are strong in basketball, so any overflow in that could be played at the Downtown. Soccer is strong in the winter, so the Downtown YMCA also could handle that overflow.
“Adult basketball, we need to grow. One of the things with adult basketball at our other facility has been the court size,” he said. The three-point line at the Downtown Warsaw YMCA is much better because of space. “So we feel this court will be much more of a draw for adult leagues.”
In the summer, the gym will be able to be used for programmed pop-up leagues, sports performance for kids and other activities.
“Being June when we start, we may see leagues pick up in August, September, things like that. Probably not a whole lot in here the next six weeks, more open space,” he said.
“I know Wabash Volleyball wants to come down here and practice. So they’ll come down, bring their team down, and play. So we opened the gym so that people can have access to all that, and that’s what we’re trying to do, is just try to open up more space to members,” Swanson stated.
Inside the gym, the hoops are intentionally original from the elementary school, as are the scoreboard and red pads. Madison’s mascot is the red cardinal.
“We did that because we want to connect to the history of the school. So we’re looking in the archives at other ways ... we can decorate the stairwell and things like that to connect this building to the elementary school,” Swanson said. “A lot of families played here, sent their kids here.”

    The gym inside Downtown Warsaw YMCA - which has floor markings for volleyball, pickleball and basketball - is pictured. The YMCA building was previously the gym for Madison Elementary School and Gateway Educational Center. Photo by David Slone, Times-Union
 
 

He said the YMCA expects that the bulk of the revenue growth for the Downtown Warsaw YMCA building will come from members south of U.S. 30. The other YMCA facilities are north of U.S. 30.
“Now, if you want 24/7 though, you might add a tag and be north of 30. We had a lot sign up today, who are north of 30, ironically,” he said.
There aren’t too many YMCAs in Indiana that are 24/7, but the trend is growing.
“We’re the 19th Y in the state to go 24/7. There’s 41 Y’s in the state of Indiana. So it’s happening more and more,” Swanson said.
There are gyms like Workout Anytime and Planet Fitness that are 24/7 and he said there’s a place for them.
“Our mission, obviously, is trying to reach, really, families 0 to 11. We love young adults, we don’t not want them, but our primary market is families. So that’s where upstairs and downstairs makes sense. That’s where mom can be on a treadmill and watch her kids in a basketball game and things like that. We start thinking how do we incorporate the whole family,” he said.
A number of organizations and businesses helped to bring the Downtown Warsaw YMCA into fruition. Swanson pointed out the K21 Health Foundation, Lake City Bank, Cary Groninger and G & G Hauling & Excavating, and a lot of private donors.
“We’re doing all we can do to connect to the new homes and families, and so we want to be here for them,” he said. “And, of course, I think a lot of the vision for K21 and for Lake City Bank came that there’s an ... option for downtown” for people to work out during their lunch hour or before or after work.
The facility continues to be a work in progress as the YMCA plans out the space.
“In a lot of ways, we need to see where members want us to go, what they’re looking for, what matters to them. We know pickleball, we’ve already heard that,” Swanson stated.

During Monday’s grand opening of the new Downtown Warsaw YMCA, Kosciusko Community YMCA members and potential members streamed in the facilities to check out what it had to offer.
The grand opening for the approximate 4,700-square-foot two-level building featured a raffle, tours and member sign-ups.
The Downtown Warsaw YMCA is in the former Madison Elementary School gymnasium at 575 W. Fort Wayne St., nestled next to the Gateway Grove housing addition. A groundbreaking ceremony for the building took place in October, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony being planned for a few weeks out.
Providing a walk-through tour, Kosciusko Community YMCA Chief Executive Officer Jim Swanson said the upper floor is the 24 hours a day, seven days a week space. Regular hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. When the YMCA closes at 8 p.m., members with access codes can still drop in to use the treadmills, free weights and other gym equipment.
“We bought all new. A lot of weight-lifting tends to be the preference, more strength-training than cardio now, so you’ll see in a lot of places kind of a shift toward strength, so that’s what we did in here, too,” Swanson said. “I think we have a lot of distinct and unique pieces, with the plate machines and things like that.”
The equipment chosen for the Downtown Warsaw YMCA was based on what members were using at the other YMCA facilities.
Upstairs also offers two restrooms with a shower in each that are like a family changing room, he said.
Throughout the building, there are remnants of the former Madison school, including a few lockers across from the bathrooms.
Not available at this time after hours is the gym down the stairs from the workout space, but Swanson said they’ll see where that goes down the road.
“We renovated this space. The restrooms, obviously, are original. We updated them all. Updated flooring. Painted more lockers,” he said at the bottom of the stairs, and then pointed to the athletic office space next to the gym for programming. “And then we redid the gym.”
The bleachers were taken out of the gymnasium, which Swanson said makes it feel large. The wood was stripped down to the bare wood, refinished and striped.
“So you have volleyball - two courts. You have basketball that goes each way. And then three pickleball courts,” he said.
The pickleball courts’ lines are green. Volleyball’s are gray east/west and white north/south, with the lines for basketball being red and black.
“Volleyball, basketball are really, really popular for us in adult leagues, and more sports performance in youth leagues. Pickleball, we’re just getting into. There’s a lot of facilities in town, but we think we’ll pick it up in the winter when” everyone heads indoors, Swanson stated.
“Our goal is to make this successful, so we’re looking at curtain models, but we don’t have curtain separators in here yet. We’re still trying to figure that out.”

    A woman checks out the Downtown Warsaw YMCA fitness equipment Monday during the grand opening. Photo by David Slone, Times-Union
 
 

The Downtown Warsaw YMCA gym will be an overflow space for the YMCA’s adult volleyball league. This year, the YMCA ran two adult volleyball leagues and had to turn teams away.
“So this box will open up. Like the Wabash team would probably play here. They come in from Wabash, so we would just run all three gyms,” Swanson said.
Kid leagues are strong in basketball, so any overflow in that could be played at the Downtown. Soccer is strong in the winter, so the Downtown YMCA also could handle that overflow.
“Adult basketball, we need to grow. One of the things with adult basketball at our other facility has been the court size,” he said. The three-point line at the Downtown Warsaw YMCA is much better because of space. “So we feel this court will be much more of a draw for adult leagues.”
In the summer, the gym will be able to be used for programmed pop-up leagues, sports performance for kids and other activities.
“Being June when we start, we may see leagues pick up in August, September, things like that. Probably not a whole lot in here the next six weeks, more open space,” he said.
“I know Wabash Volleyball wants to come down here and practice. So they’ll come down, bring their team down, and play. So we opened the gym so that people can have access to all that, and that’s what we’re trying to do, is just try to open up more space to members,” Swanson stated.
Inside the gym, the hoops are intentionally original from the elementary school, as are the scoreboard and red pads. Madison’s mascot is the red cardinal.
“We did that because we want to connect to the history of the school. So we’re looking in the archives at other ways ... we can decorate the stairwell and things like that to connect this building to the elementary school,” Swanson said. “A lot of families played here, sent their kids here.”

    The gym inside Downtown Warsaw YMCA - which has floor markings for volleyball, pickleball and basketball - is pictured. The YMCA building was previously the gym for Madison Elementary School and Gateway Educational Center. Photo by David Slone, Times-Union
 
 

He said the YMCA expects that the bulk of the revenue growth for the Downtown Warsaw YMCA building will come from members south of U.S. 30. The other YMCA facilities are north of U.S. 30.
“Now, if you want 24/7 though, you might add a tag and be north of 30. We had a lot sign up today, who are north of 30, ironically,” he said.
There aren’t too many YMCAs in Indiana that are 24/7, but the trend is growing.
“We’re the 19th Y in the state to go 24/7. There’s 41 Y’s in the state of Indiana. So it’s happening more and more,” Swanson said.
There are gyms like Workout Anytime and Planet Fitness that are 24/7 and he said there’s a place for them.
“Our mission, obviously, is trying to reach, really, families 0 to 11. We love young adults, we don’t not want them, but our primary market is families. So that’s where upstairs and downstairs makes sense. That’s where mom can be on a treadmill and watch her kids in a basketball game and things like that. We start thinking how do we incorporate the whole family,” he said.
A number of organizations and businesses helped to bring the Downtown Warsaw YMCA into fruition. Swanson pointed out the K21 Health Foundation, Lake City Bank, Cary Groninger and G & G Hauling & Excavating, and a lot of private donors.
“We’re doing all we can do to connect to the new homes and families, and so we want to be here for them,” he said. “And, of course, I think a lot of the vision for K21 and for Lake City Bank came that there’s an ... option for downtown” for people to work out during their lunch hour or before or after work.
The facility continues to be a work in progress as the YMCA plans out the space.
“In a lot of ways, we need to see where members want us to go, what they’re looking for, what matters to them. We know pickleball, we’ve already heard that,” Swanson stated.

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