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Major addition at the YMCA beginning to take shape

A 200-ton crane, so tall it sometimes has to have lights on it when working near an airport, will be at the Kandiyohi County Area Family YMCA in Willmar for a few more weeks while 10-by-31-foot, 46,000-pound segments will be added to the 13,993-square-foot expansion at the facility. Tribune photo by Gary Miller

WILLMAR — Motorists rubbernecked Tuesday as they drove by the Kandiyohi County Area Family YMCA in Willmar.

A crane with 160-foot boom caught the bypassers’ attention as it lifted precast concrete wall segments — each weighing more than 20 tons — into place.

“It’s put together like a big puzzle,” said Tim Daniels, the Y’s building and grounds director.

The puzzle is a 13,993-square-foot expansion to the YMCA facility.

Workers from Wells Concrete attached cables dangling from the crane’s boom to each wall segment while they were still on semi flatbeds. The semis carried the pieces — one per truck — from Albany where the 10-by-31-foot, 46,000-pound segments were cast.

As the crane lifted each piece, a worker on a hydraulic lift rearranged cables. The process helped the segment transition from a horizontal to vertical position so that they could be added to the addition wall.

The 200-ton crane, which is so tall it sometimes has to have lights on it when working near an airport, will be at the Y for a few more weeks, Daniels said.

Today semis will deliver 60-foot, 38,000-pound joists for the addition’s roof.

Daniels said that all the addition’s walls should be up in about two weeks.

The $2.6 million addition will add exercise equipment space, a larger wellness center, two racquetball courts, an exercise studio and a multipurpose gymnasium.

Gary Miller

Born and attended public schools in Willmar, Minn. Served 20 years in U.S. Navy as a photojournalist. Worked at West Central Tribune since retiring from the Navy in 1994.

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