Since its opening in 1887, the Eugene Family YMCA has been a cornerstone of Lane County. It is a place for community gathering and connection, bringing together people from all walks of life.
And now, a decade after the Y first approached PIVOT about designing a new facility, the Eugene Family YMCA Don Stathos Campus is officially open! This new facility will allow the Y to greatly expand their youth, health, and wellness programs, and we are honored to have been a part of creating this important community resource.
“The Y is so much more than a fitness center. It’s truly a community hub offering connections for everyone,” says PIVOT Principal Kari Turner. “Their services benefit kids through seniors including everything from childcare to disease prevention and support, to encouraging overall healthy living. The Y truly meets people where they are.”
At PIVOT, we are driven to design valuable community spaces that help make the world a better place. When PIVOT and the Y began talking about building a new facility back in 2010, we knew it would be exactly that. After those initial conversations, the project officially started in 2014 under the direction of the since-retired PIVOT Principals Eric Gunderson and Bill Seider. After years of fundraising, design restarted in 2020, led by Principal Kari Turner, Project Manager Karen Williams, and Interior Designer Martha Wassweiler.
Restarting the project in 2020 came with its own set of challenges. Not only did the way we work change with the pandemic, but the design did as well.
“As we were finishing design work in late 2020, the world was changing,” Kari says. “The pandemic, the murder of George Floyd, the local wildfires – they all reiterated the importance of the Y in our community as a source for childcare for essential workers, creating safe places for all people to connect, and providing a refuge for people escaping fires, smoke, or other natural disaster.”
Over the years, more than 20 PIVOT employees contributed to the project; each one inspired by what it meant, both for the community and for PIVOT.
Martha Wassweiler says it well, “To me, this project represents perseverance. We faced many setbacks and challenges. Seeing the owner, design, and contracting teams come together and persevere through these obstacles, that is what the project embodies for me.”
As the project wraps up, Project Manager Karen Williams shares her feelings on being a part of something people have been working towards for decades. “Finally seeing their dream come true has been really rewarding. It’s not something that I get to wear as a medal, but I get to know that I supported that dream.”
Our team will take lessons learned from this project; patience, resilience, trust in themselves, and teamwork, with them for the rest of their careers.
We would like to thank the team that helped make this dream a reality: ABD Engineering, Cameron McCarthy, Chambers Construction, Foundation Engineering, Gro, Hohbach-Lewin, KPFF, NIS, PAE, Redpoint, Sandow Engineering, and the entire team at the YMCA for their dedication throughout this project.
Together, after more than a decade of hard work, we opened one of the finest YMCAs in the nation.