Contractors are beginning work on a new YMCA building costing $35 million. The 62,000 square foot concrete building will serve to revitalize Kansas City’s downtown areas with various community programs and activities.
The Rise of a New YMCA
The new YMCA building is set to house a medical clinic in partnership with the Truman Medical Center. This clinic will be available to all YMCA members and to people living in the surrounding area. The YMCA facility will include both an indoor family pool for the kids and a lap pool for serious swimmers. Zero-impact water exercise classes are available, and so are standard swimming lessons.
The facility will also have a modern gym for strength training and cardio — complete with the latest equipment available. Outside the gym, there is a large area devoted to health and wellness as well as three studios for yoga, dance, and other group exercise activities.
Like most YMCAs, the Kansas facility will also include a suspended indoor track for walking and running. Three community rooms will be available for use — one of which will house a teaching kitchen devoted to instructing people on nutrition and the different aspects of healthy eating. The site will also include a Kids Zone play area, where parents can drop off their kids as they go about their activities in the center.
A Blend of Historic Architecture and Modern Use
The new YMCA will be housed in the historic Lyric Theater building at 1029 Central Street. The $35 million goes to both the renovation of the Lyric building’s façade and a reconstruction of its interior.
Most of the funding for the new center came from the 11th Street Corridor Tax Increment Financing District, donating almost $17 million for the project. The rest was covered by the Missouri Development Finance Board and donations and charitable gifts from various sectors. The new YMCA facility will be named the Kirk Family Community Center to honor the Kirk family and their contributions to the local community.
The project will seek to preserve the Lyric Theater’s architecture while adding a sense of modernity. Limestone from the original quarry used in the construction of the original Lyric is being brought in to ensure uniformity and preserve the feel of the original design. To add modern elements, huge two-story windows will be added to the building’s façade facing Central Street. These windows serve to add natural lighting and a sense of grandiose to the historical structure.
The new YMCA isn’t the only structure that’s getting concrete contractors busy. The drop in mortgage rates has given homeowners in the Kansas City area additional incentives to begin construction and renovation projects in their own homes. Concrete has gotten a bit in demand as more homeowners are opting to use concrete for their homes. Though 2018 had one of the lowest numbers of tornadoes recorded, families still remember the tragedies brought by previous years.
Construction on the new YMCA building is expected to be completed by the spring of 2021. However, local government, private groups, and individuals are already planning projects and activities that will revitalize downtown Kansas — even before the opening of the local Y.