ALLOUEZ, Wis. (WFRV) – Allouez residents may soon be saying goodbye to their Broadview YMCA that’s been around since 1965, and welcoming a new facility that would be built on the Broadview Soccer Complex.
The YMCA and the village are proposing a new 17-acre facility that would not only be an upgrade from their current location, but a chance for the village to have a community center once again.
Village president Jim Rafter says, “I’m terribly excited about it. It will bring the type of facility and services to the village of Allouez that people who live here or are looking for a place to live will want in this community.”
Even though giving a new facility to a nonprofit may seem like it would be a widely accepted idea, some residents living nearby have some concerns.
The Village Board had an informational meeting with YMCA representatives to inform the community and hear feedback from residents. Attending the meeting was Shelly Johnson. She lives with her family in front of where the proposed new facility would be built.
She says, “When we bought the house, we were excited to have that backyard with the soccer fields and that no one would build back there. It came as a shock when we heard it a couple months ago on the news that they were planning on putting that up. I guess the most disappointing thing is that according to the layout that they have right now, our backyard would view the parking lot.”
It is not just residents who have concerns but members of the village board as well. Board trustee Christopher Sampson says as long non-Y members could still use the soccer fields, he would be in favor of the plan.
“My primary concern representing the citizens of the village is that those soccer fields are owned by everyone. I want to make sure that the citizens get something in value in return, even if you’re not a Y member,” Sampson says.
Despite some apprehension, Greater Green Bay YMCA CEO Sean Elliott believes this new building would have a positive impact on the community.
Elliott says, “Partnering with the village in a site that would allow us to put a facility that’s going to serve not only today’s but the future needs of the kids and the families in Allouez. We have a great Y there, but it’s old, it’s probably a little bit outdated and this is really going to allow us to continue to grow.”
If the plan is ultimately approved, Rafter says the new facility could be up and running between 2025-2026.