Organizers detail YMCA, Boys and Girls Club plans for Rapids Mal - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Organizers detail YMCA, Boys and Girls Club plans for Rapids Mall property


The South Wood County YMCA and the Boys and Girls Club of the Wisconsin Rapids Area have teamed up to take over the Rapids Mall.

Most of the current mall building will be demolished. Any infrastructure remaining will be renovated.

The new facility will feature a full YMCA athletic center and recreation room, along with study hall rooms and accommodations for Boys and Girls Club members.

Kurt Heuer, who is involved with fundraising for the project, is very connected with the two organizations.

"I was a Y kid," he said. "I was here all the time. Playing basketball, playing ping pong. Socializing with friends."

He said it's because of those long-term ties, he's excited to bring the new space to today's community. 

"Having the Boys and Girls Club and YMCA in the same footprint is incredibly meaningful," he said.

However, not everyone is on board.

"I hate it," said Lillian Pechinski, who works at the Senior Craft Shoppe in the Rapids Mall. She's been involved with the store since 1994. "I think they're taking everything away from us senior citizens, what we like to do. And a lot of them were very happy it gives them something to do instead of just sitting around."

During a meeting in Port Edwards Monday, YMCA and Boys and Girls Club leaders addressed criticisms, but believe overall, the pros outweigh the cons.

The project is set to break ground in the spring. Organizers hope to finish the new facility by 2019. 

Powered by Frankly