Locker Room, Warm Water Pool and Physical Therapy Space

May 19th, 2021

As our YMCA begins to recover from the impacts of the COVID pandemic and we look enthusiastically to the future, we are excited to get our capital project underway.  As you know, it has been a challenging year for the Y, our community and our neighbors and friends.  We are pleased and excited to be in a position to get our projects under construction this summer so that our community will benefit from the facility improvements. 

The Dahl branch in La Crosse will get a full locker room remodel – including a new steam room and sauna, bathrooms off the pool deck, larger universal locker (family) room and more. The Houser Branch in Onalaska will be getting a new warm water pool, a steam room and sauna and a new Physical Therapy space operated by Gundersen Health System.

Dahl Branch - Full Locker Room Remodel

The Dahl branch will have the largest transformation.  Our locker rooms haven’t been renovated since the building was built in 1969. A lot has changed since then including how our members and community use our Y. With the remodel we will be providing members and program participants with barrier free accessibility, improved privacy, better access to the pool, and a safer environment for all members. 

So now you ask, what are you doing to upgrade the locker rooms?

  • Gutting everything – but not all at once.
  • Within the new universal locker room, we will create private changing and shower rooms – designed for young children and their parents or care givers, seniors, members wishing for increased privacy, and members who need improved access to the facility.
  • We will create a female locker room and a male locker room to serve members in a more modern way, including private showers, new lockers, and improved accessibility for all.  Within these two new locker rooms, we will create private changing and shower rooms for those members seeking additional privacy. Additionally, we will be doubling the number of bathroom facilities for our female members. 
  • By combining youth and adults in the same locker rooms, the increased traffic and activity levels improve the safety and security for all Y members and guests.
  • We will replace all the plumbing, fixtures, air handling equipment, lighting, and more, to improve facility efficiency as well as member and participant comfort.
  • We will create two bathrooms off the pool deck which will improve access for young children, as well as those needing assistance.

FAQs - Dahl Branch

No. These projects are being funded through a combination of gifts from generous donors along with some internal YMCA financing. Membership rates are not being changed as a result of the planned improvements.

Yes, in fact, one of our main objectives as we plan for this remodeling project is improved barrier-free accessibility of the Dahl Y.  This will include improved access to lockers, additional barrier-free shower rooms, better access to the pool area, and a design that removes the entry doors to the three locker rooms.  

At this time we are anticipating that construction will begin in the summer of 2021, and will be completed by the fall of 2022.   

During construction at the Dahl Branch, we will be staging the projects in a way that ensures that we have locker rooms available for everyone. We will provide additional details as the construction project approaches and gets underway.  

Yes, plans include the addition of two bathrooms off of the pool deck.  This will dramatically improve bathroom access for members and guests and will no longer require members to walk through the locker rooms to access the bathrooms. 

Yes, transitioning from five to three locker rooms allows us to improve privacy, increase the number of bathroom facilities, and improve safety and security for our members because of the increased traffic and volume.  The new design also allows for a Universal Locker Room with private changing/shower rooms as well as private changing rooms being added to the male and female locker rooms.  Additionally, this new design will align with what we’re seeing in contemporary YMCA’s.

Yes.  The new design will have children and adults using the same locker rooms.  Since we opened the Houser Y in Onalaska in 2006, children and adults have been using the same locker rooms without any issues or concerns.  Additionally, the proposed locker room design is consistent with the design of contemporary YMCA’s and the increased traffic and activity levels improve the safety and security for all Y members and guests.

Once remodeled, the locker rooms will not include lounges. A few years ago we created a wonderful community lounge space off of the locker rooms. Once the remodeling project is complete, this space will be equipped with coffee, snacks, lounge furniture, high tables and chairs and more.

We’re excited to be planning for a Universal Locker Room that will include fourteen (14) private changing and shower rooms, including sinks, showers, and toilets.  Several of these rooms will be fully handicap accessible. 

Plans include new air handling equipment, improved ventilation and an improved ability to control temperature and humidity within the locker rooms and community lounge.

Our plans include a new steam room and sauna to be constructed off of the swimming pool deck, accessible from the pool.  The decision to relocate the steam and sauna is based on improved safety and security for our members resulting from these spaces being more visible to Y staff and members.  These new spaces will be large, state of the art, co-ed, and easily accessible.

Once the project is completed, lockers will continue to be available for rent in the male and female locker rooms.

For now, sit tight and wait for further information.  We will make the transition from construction to the new lockers as easy and seamless as possible.  Watch for more information coming soon.

Houser Branch: Warm Water Pool, Physical Therapy Space

We are excited to announce not only a new warm water pool, but also a steam room and sauna to the Houser Branch in Onalaska.  Also, Gundersen and the Y are partnering on a new space for Gundersen physical therapy services at the Houser Branch. This new space is tentatively scheduled to open fall 2021, pending construction and coordination.

FAQs - Houser Branch

YES! We are very excited to be bringing a warm water swimming pool to the Houser Y to better meet the needs of our senior members, our young members and those members wanting a warmer water experience.  The plans at the Houser Y also include a steam room, sauna, and a new room off the Wellness Center which will be used by Gundersen Health System to provide physical therapy. 

Although we haven’t determined a final temperature for the warm water pool, we are anticipating a temperature of approximately 90°F (current pool temp is about 84°F).

Yes, the construction of the new warm water pool will eliminate the addition of any future whirlpool at the Houser Y.  This decision has been made because a warm pool will serve far more members in the community compared to the number of members who would be served with a whirlpool. 

The new pool will be constructed on the south side of the Houser Y behind the locker rooms.  This will allow members to access the new pool through the locker rooms and from the existing pool deck.  Because the air and water temperatures in the new pool will be higher than the existing pool, the new space will be separated from the current pool by glass doors. 

The new warm water pool at the Houser Y will be used for adult water exercise classes, parent and child swim lessons, and preschool swim lessons. This will open up additional time in our current pool for lap swim and open swim.

Yes, plans include a steam room and sauna to be constructed in the space behind the slide.  These spaces will be large, state of the art, co-ed, and easily accessible.

Have additional questions?