Riverfront YMCA101 Locust St.
Des Moines, IA 50309
(515) 282-YMCA (9622)
In the nearly 150 years the YMCA of Greater Des Moines has been serving Central Iowa, the association has only had three downtown locations.
You can make that four after plans were announced late last year to renovate the Polk County Convention Complex (Plex). The YMCA has purchased the Plex from Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield, completing an elaborate land swap between Polk County, Wellmark and the Y.
The Plex will be remodeled into the new Wellmark Y with such features as a gym, indoor track, handball and racquetball courts, indoor cycling studio and wellness center. Wellmark has charitably donated the parcel of land it owns directly next and west of the Plex to the YMCA. The additional land will be used by the Y to expand its new facility to accommodate a 50-meter swimming pool with seating and amenities to host major aquatic events.
“To be in the heart of downtown Des Moines with a 50-meter pool and attached to the skywalk with the facilities and programs we’re going to offer, it will be a YMCA second to none,” said Vernon Delpesce, president and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Des Moines. “As we strive to help Des Moines to be an active, healthy community, the Wellmark Y will be the centerpiece of those efforts.”
The YMCA has partnered with several local businesses to raise funds for the anticipated $30 million project.
“We’re pleased to partner with Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield to continue to improve the health of our community,” Delpesce said. “And the tremendous support we have received in order to maintain a permanent presence in downtown Des Moines is extremely gratifying.”