KSNB LOCAL 4 contributed video to this report

HASTINGS, NE — It took a long time, lots of work, and even more generosity for staff at the Hastings YMCA to get to this point.

The community celebrated the groundbreaking for the YMCA’s overhaul of its 16th Street property on Thursday. For CEO Troy Stickels, it was a moment of relief.

“It doesn’t really sink in,” Stickels said.

From inception to now, the budget for the renovation project has increased by 38 percent thanks to rising construction costs.

“It’s been awful to have a budget, and then the next time you meet it’s gone up $1 million dollars," Stickels said. "Then you have to figure out how to shave tat off. Hopefully things start coming down and we can have a little breathing room.”

The original expectation of $13-14 million ballooned to $19.4 million. But the community and charitable foundations stepped up to push the project forward.

“To me this has been about the community and the Y. It’s humbling,” Stickels said.

Stickels says the main idea of the project is to consolidate the Y into one building. The 18th street facility has already been sold to Grace Life Church.

“We’ve kind of segregated our population because of these two buildings. Our old facility that we’re going to remodel is a lot of the older people," Stickels said. "Our Champions facility across the street is a lot of young people. We need to bring those groups back together.”

The remodel will expand the building to 89,000 square feet. Among the additions are two full-size basketball courts, an early childhood development center, fitness center, weight room and an adventure challenge.

Stickels says the years of fundraising are worth it to offer an improved experience for members.

“The space we’re going to have, the newness and the freshness, I hope it brings a lot more people in because I think there’s something we have to offer for everybody," Stickels said.

Construction is expected to finish by late spring 2024.