History of our Y

The present YMCA at Pabst Farms was known as the YMCA of Waukesha County at its inception on June 26, 1926. A group of community leaders came together to organize a YMCA because they felt it had the potential for improving the quality of life for youth in the Oconomowoc area. The association received its official charter in 1929.

The first small facility was located in the City of Oconomowoc with program offerings for young people. Activities included "Y" Clubs for grade school and high school youth, play days, educational trips, day camping and Learn to Swim classes. Although the primary emphasis was on youth activities, adults were not left out. Night school, public affairs institutes, special interest groups and special events were among the programs for adults. The first annual budget was $4500 and over 800 people participated in YMCA programs.

From the beginning, it was anticipated that a full facility YMCA would be built. In 1964, a capital campaign raised $200,000 toward a goal of $450,000. The Board of Directors raised the remaining money to build the major portion of the building. With this step, the annual budget grew to nearly $100,000. The association was renamed Town and Country YMCA in 1965.

The next two capital campaigns, one in 1968 and another in the mid-1970's, raised funds to help construct seven racquetball courts, a gym and an exercise area. These facility expansions provided program opportunities for thousands of people in the Lake Country area.

By 1992, the annual budget had grown to $695,000 and membership to 2,400 individuals. A much-needed elevator was installed, allowing people with disabilities easy access to the second floor of the building.

In December 1994, a major project termed "Phase I" was completed. Two racquetball courts were removed to make room for the Life Fitness Center, which housed cardiovascular and weight machines. Additional improvements made in Phase I were a new woman's locker room, updates to the men's locker room, new saunas and a facelift for the pool area.

"Phase II" was completed at the close of 1997. The Life Fitness Center doubled in size and the Kid's Gym was built. The YMCA also retired the original mortgage that year, as a result of several generous gift donations.

As of 2002, the YMCA had a budget of over $2.3 million with over 4,800 members. The Town and Country facility on Silver Lake Street was bursting at the seams as a result of new families and businesses moving into the Oconomowoc area. It was time to plan the new YMCA at Pabst Farms on Valley Road, north of I-94 and east of Hwy. 67. The estimated cost of this grand new building was $12 million.

The capital campaign goal for a new YMCA was $8 million. This goal was exceeded and quiet campaigning continued. Construction began in July of 2002, and the new YMCA at Pabst Farms opened its doors on September 2, 2003. Memberships increased to 15,000 members within the first year.

The new facility has over 115,000 square feet of state of the art services. The Aquatic Center houses a competitive pool, zero-depth entry family pool with a water slide and lazy river, and a therapeutic warm water pool. A new gymnasium is nearly four times the size of the previous gym and can be used simultaneously for different program needs. Among other features are an aerobics studio, mind-body studio for yoga, a rock climbing wall, indoor track, Family Prime Time area, and a spacious Life Fitness Center.