For many kids in Nebraska, the chance to play on the same field as the Huskers is a lifelong dream.
In Fremont, that dream will now become a reality for many local youths as the Fremont Family YMCA opened its new multi-purpose turf room last week.
The new 5,000-square-foot, multi-purpose turf room is located in the Y’s former instructional pool area and features turf that was previously used on the Cornhuskers outdoor practice field in Lincoln.
According to YMCA President and CEO Jerry Rinne, the new indoor turf room has already provided opportunities it was meant to create after rain dampened planned outdoor soccer matches last week.
“We got rained out and so instead of canceling we were able to bring a lot of the kids in here and played indoor soccer instead,” he said.
Along with indoor soccer, the multi-purpose turf area can be used for football, baseball, fitness classes, boot camps and even birthday parties.
“We have a little party room so parents can rent that out and have birthday cake and presents and the kids can play on the turf,” Rinne said.
In addition to laying the turf, the YMCA also put pads up on the walls for safety purposes and plans to add batting cages that will drop down from the ceiling for those who want to get in some batting practice.
At approximately 5,000 square feet overall, the new multi-purpose turf area can also serve as the perfect space to run a 40-yard-dash.
The turf area itself is 35 yards long, but the YMCA added an additional 10 yards of turf that runs into the adjacent room that previously held the Y’s former lap pool.
Sprinters who want to track their 40-yard time can simply open the door and take off down to the end of the multi-purpose turf area.
“There’s not a lot of places where you can run a 40-yard dash indoors, so that just adds another use for the area,” Rinne said.
Along with the addition of the multi-purpose turf area, the Y’s former lap pool has also been filled in and is in the process of being transformed into a free weight and powerlifting facility which will expand the Hazel R. Keene Wellness Center from approximately 10,000 square feet to 15,000 square feet.
The repurposed space will also include outdoor weightlifting area, which will be located just to the south of the old lap pool along Lincoln Avenue.
As part of the renovations, the YMCA added a clear garage door that opens up into the new outdoor weightlifting area.
Rinne says the plan is to also put turf down in the outdoor weightlifting area to keep the surface cool for users, and it will also be fenced in when it is completed.
The new free weight and powerlifting, and adjacent outdoor weightlifting areas should be completed later this summer with Rinne estimating them being open to the public in 10-11 weeks.
Currently, HVAC work is being completed in the indoor free weight area, while fencing off the outdoor area still needs to be completed as well as moving in all the new equipment.
The garage doors leading outside will replace several large plate-glass windows in the former swimming area, and the new outdoor weight room will be fenced in.
“We’re excited to have it completed, and when it’s done we’ll have something nobody else really has,” Rinne said.
He also encouraged any local sports teams that might be interested in utilizing the multi-purpose turf area facility to contact the YMCA about using the area for practice.
For more information, or to inquire about use of either facility, contact the Fremont Family YMCA at 402-721-6952.