Major renovation coming
for the Hoerner YMCA
By MARK SMIDT, HOERNER YMCA CEO
Two years ago, the Hoerner YMCA board plotted a course to return our organization to good health. Since then, we’ve worked to boost our facility and strengthen our programs.
During that time, we’ve made more than $300,000 in improvements to the facility, and we’ve added and revitalized programs. To find out what improvements we’ve made in 2019, please read the accompanying story.
But our building is 45 years old, and the board realizes it is time for an extensive renovation so the building will serve the community for another 45 years.
For the past year, the board has worked on a community needs assessment, which included discussions with YMCA members and the public to determine our community’s needs. And the board developed a strategic plan on how the YMCA could meet those needs.
The board’s improvement efforts got a huge boost in September when Roquette announced a four-year, $500,000 capital campaign pledge to the Hoerner YMCA.
“The Hoerner YMCA is a tremendous resource for this community,” said Roquette plant manager Mickey McHale in announcing the donation. “Roquette is proud to be in Keokuk and happy to help restore a facility that many of our employees and their families use every day.”
In November, the board committed to an $800,000 improvement plan, which will convert the racquetball courts into two floors of programming space, followed by improvements to the locker rooms and showers.
It’s a realistic improvement plan that demonstrates the Hoerner YMCA’s commitment to Keokuk and to our members. It won’t solve all our building’s shortfalls, but it will solve the biggest ones, while demonstrating our desire to provide programs that focus on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.
Roquette’s generous donation gave our efforts a huge boost, but it’s just a beginning.
As Roquette CEO Eric Loges said, “We wanted to help restore this resource for our neighbors and help make Keokuk more attractive for newcomers who might like to live and work here.
“Our hope is that other businesses will follow suit and join the effort to help fund improvements for our city.”
Indeed, some of those businesses have stepped forward. The board has quietly approached a select group of businesses and individuals to get the capital campaign started, and the efforts have been warmly received.
Two Rivers Bank & Trust has made a $45,000 pledge over three years to the capital campaign. Pilot Grove Savings Bank has made a $15,000 pledge over four years – and has actually paid that pledge in advance. And Connection Bank has made a $15,000 pledge over four years.
In the coming months, the board will continue to reach out to businesses and individuals for their support on the capital campaign. Completing the projects now on the drawing board will require raising at least another $150,000.
For our YMCA, the $800,000 project is a lofty goal. But we’ve been able to make tremendous progress in the past couple years, thanks to donors large and small and the support of many foundations.
And we’re confident that member and community support will help us make the improvements we need to provide the Keokuk area with quality programs for years to come.