While Wichita State students await the opening of the new Steve Clark YMCA / Student Wellness Center on campus, they are already making extensive use of the nine other Greater Wichita YMCAs.
Wichita State’s YMCA, under construction at the corner of Mike Oatman Drive and Mid Campus Drive, is roughly nine months from completion. When finished in 2020, the YMCA will offer features, many connecting technology to fitness routines, unique to the building.
“At every Y, we do something a little different,” YMCA president and CEO Ronn McMahon said. “It’s going to be technology-focused in a way that some of our other Y's are not. We’ve got an indoor-outdoor studio, where you can open up the garage doors and work out on the mezzanine.”
The latest architectural renderings show a complex that flows into the expansion on the east side of campus with its design and function. Robert Love, project designer with SJCF Architecture, said the Steve Clark YMCA will feature technology such as video displays and connection with phones and apps for users to track fitness.
“Being linked with the Innovation Campus, it was our goal to use a combination of materials and form to demonstrate the idea of innovation,” Love said. “There is a lot of glass for daylight and views, so that you can see the activity going on inside the facility, as well as users inside being able to see the campus.”
Wichita State students are already using their membership to the nine full-service YMCAs in Sedgwick, Butler and Harvey counties.
Wichita State students, according to McMahon, average around 25,000 visits a month. Wichita State students using family memberships account for roughly an additional 5,000 visits.
“Students are certainly taking advantage of our partnership with the YMCA,” said Teri Hall, Wichita State vice president of student affairs. “I think it’s only going to continue to grow.”
Those memberships are part of student fees since the fall of 2017, money used to cover operating and use costs for the Steve Clark YMCA, Student Health Services and Student Counseling, drop-in daycare and a Wesley Urgent Care Center.
Wichita State students who paid student fees for the spring semester are eligible to use their YMCA membership through the summer.
“Even though they’re not enrolled in class during the summer, it’s there for them,” Hall said. “It doesn’t end when their enrollment ends in May.”
McMahon said the campus facility is on pace to open in January 2020.
“For the students, it’s going be a place on campus to work out, relieve stress,” McMahon said. “The whole wellness idea for students is something that the Y is concerned about nationally. We’re excited to be able to be a part of that.”