With the dawn of a new year, a new YMCA is coming to downtown Des Moines.
The Wellmark YMCA officially opened for business on New Year’s Day as the trained YMCA staff is helping individuals continue their journey to an active, healthy lifestyle.
The new facility at 501 Grand Avenue in downtown Des Moines replaces the more than half-century-old Riverfront YMCA. According to Tim Short, executive director of the Wellmark YMCA, the new Y will offer many of the same features as the Riverfront Y, but will be better designed – and new.
“One of the things many of our members are excited about is we are getting new equipment throughout the facility, replacing most of what is currently at the Riverfront Y,” Short said. “But more than anything else, the Wellmark Y will allow us to offer more classes and fitness opportunities to meet the fitness goals of our members.
“The Riverfront Y served the downtown Des Moines community well for the past 50 plus years and we believe that the new Wellmark Y will have just as big, if not a greater impact over the next half century.”
The Wellmark Y is not only newer but much bigger than the Riverfront Y.With over 140,000 square feet of space, this world-class facility includes, among other features…
- Indoor Track – Short says the 1/8 mile track is the biggest indoor track in the city, almost twice as big as the current Riverfront Y.
- 2 Basketball Courts – the junior high length courts have markings for volleyball courts as well.
- 8 Racquetball / Handball Courts – the courts are located on the facility’s upper level with the capability of seating for tournaments.
- 2 Squash Courts – the squash courts are the only courts in the Des Moines area
- Wellness Center – the Wellness Center will be located on the upper level with the capacity of up to 100 machines.
- Cycling Studio – tiered, enclosed structure with the capacity for up to 50 bikes.
- Strength Conditioning Area – the free weight area will also be in this location.
- Yoga Studio – located on the lower level in a quiet area of the facility, the Yoga Studio is equipped with cork floors.
- Group Exercise Studio – this studio on the facility’s upper level will be used for group fitness classes including Body Pump, Zumba and Insanity.
- More than 75 weekly classes will be held in the Group Exercise, Yoga and Cycling studios with early morning, noon-time, late afternoon, early evening and
In the coming months, an eight-lane, 50-meter pool with seating for 1500 will be completed along with a four-lane, 25-yard pool. A café is also planned in the future on the first floor just off of the main lobby.
The Wellmark Y is one of 10 branches of the YMCA of Greater Des Moines. Membership rates will remain the same as the Riverfront Y and a YMCA membership is good at locations throughout Des Moines (except for the YMCA Healthy Living Center in Clive, which has an additional fee). Membership rates are based on household income and financial assistance is available.