WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Big Plans for the Hoerner YMCA

Jan 14, 2020

The Hoerner YMCA in Keokuk started the new year on the right note. The organization announced it received a $54,315 state grant to help pay for ongoing renovations.

Hoerner CEO Mark Smidt said the facility was built in 1974 and opened in ‘75.

“As I’ve gone around and talked to the community, I always say the building has good bones. The structure itself is good. But we really have not done any major upgrades or renovations during that time. And we need to bring it up to modern needs,” said Smidt.

Smidt said the renovations will be done in three phases.  The first one will be used to create two new programming spaces on the main floor and install a second floor for a large group exercise area.

Phases two and three will be used to re-do the men’s and women’s locker rooms and showers.

The organization’s board has approved an $800,000 improvement plan. Several local businesses have pledged money to the project:

  • Roquette America - $500,000 over four years
  • Two Rivers Bank & Trust - $45,000 over three years
  • Pilot Grove Savings Bank - $15,000 over four years
  • Connection Bank - $15,000 over four years

Even with those donations, other donations, and the state grant, the organization is still about $100,000 shy of reaching its fundraising goal. 

Smidt said the Hoerner YMCA receives a great deal of use.

“We just reviewed the admittance numbers from 2018 versus 2019 and we’re probably up 10% or 15%,” said Smidt, who believes the increase is due to efforts to improve programs and facilities.