Winona Health finalizes building plans with YMCA

Winona Health and the Winona Family YMCA will start construction on a new joint building this fall after finalizing plans. The building will be near Winona Health’s main campus, off Highway 61.

Officials for both organizations are excited about the partnership since they both have similar missions of improving people’s health. The new building will provide the organizations with a clean slate while expanding the services each provides.

The YMCA said the venture started with a capital campaign about five years ago as a way to address the needs of the people it serves.

“This building has served us really well. It’s been here for 75 years. A lot of families, a lot of kids, a lot of members have come and gone. A lot of memories have been made here,” said Paul Brown, marketing coordinator for the Winona Family YMCA.

But it is time to move on.

“You can see all the traffic going by, cars pulling up. It’s very bottledneck here,” Brown said, referring to where the traffic comes over the bridge in front of the main entrance.

By having a new facility, the YMCA will be able to provide an updated space for its expanding membership. For Winona Health, the building will allow the four groups within the rehabilitation department to improve their current offerings.

“The space will be very similar to the space we have right now. It’ll be far more efficiently built than what we currently have,” said Lucas Barbknecht, physical therapist and rehab manager for Winona Health.

Rehabilitation patients currently use the YMCA’s pool two days a week. But in the new building, they’ll be able to have their own space.

“[We’ll] be able to offer aquatic therapy from 7 o’clock to 6 o’clock every single day,” Barbknecht said.

Both Winona Health and the YMCA want people to use the new building as a way to maintain good overall health.

“If they’re already used to coming to see us and the YMCA, then they’ll be much more likely to continue on with their either rehab or just lifelong exercise through the YMCA,” Barbknecht said.

After soil correction work is done at the new property near Winona Health’s main campus this fall, construction is expected to begin next spring. It should take about a year to complete.