As membership in the YMCA grew rapidly, the space provided by the old firehouse proved to be inadequate.
By the 197os, the Board of Directors knew they needed more building space, to expand their services and programming for a growing membership. Around the same time, two Catholic schools in Stevens Point decided to consolidate by selling one of their buildings. “Luckily, Pacelli Catholic school was condensing its boys school and girls school into one building and the building that once housed the Pacelli boys became the Y after renovations,”shared Joe Seubert, Senior Director of Operations at the Stevens Point Area Y.
The Y’s Building Fund Committee negotiated with the bishop and eventually raised $800,000 dollars to buy the building, build a swimming pool, and do some remodeling. The Y did encounter some adversity during this transition, particularly from community members who had donated money to build the school, which was still relatively new. In fact, O’Brien notes that on one tour through the building, they encountered a handwritten sign that read, “You may call it a Y, but it will always be Pacelli.”
Sour feelings over the transfer in ownership have softened over the years, and many Y members speak openly of their warm feelings toward the building. “We have senior members who come here for a membership and they tour the building and it’s a walk down memory lane because they were students here back when it was the school,” Seubert said.