The Wilderness Trace YMCA in Harrodsburg, KY, received a $500,000 grant to help kick off fundraising efforts on a $1.2 million renovation to be completed in early 2014.

The Community Development Block Grant will help the Y, which was formerly an armory building that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, begin renovations to modernize its facility and transform its ground-level parking structure into a wellness center with locker rooms and a children’s area. In addition, the city will clear adjacent properties to create a parking lot next to the facility.

Because the Y currently has just a gym, many of its programs are held at locations throughout the community. YMCA Director Sage Cutler told Club Industry that the expansion will allow the Y to offer more programming on site.

The YMCA renovation is at the heart of an even larger community project to transform the block that the facility sits on into a focal point of the community. In addition to the new Y fitness center, the block will include a farmer’s market, a museum, walking trails and a swimming pool. The rest of the city improvements are estimated to cost more than $4 million and take another three to five years to complete depending on fundraising.

The YMCA board is in the process of planning and preparing a capital campaign to continue to raise funds for the facility as the first step in transforming the community.