Dahl Branch Locker Room and Houser Branch Warm Water Pool News

The La Crosse Area Family YMCA is excited to announce some major renovations to our two facilities. The Dahl branch in La Crosse will get a full locker room remodel – including a new steam room and sauna, bathrooms off the pool deck, larger universal locker room (family locker room) and more. The Houser Branch in Onalaska will be getting a new warm water pool and a steam room and sauna. 

Dahl Locker Rooms

The Dahl branch will have the largest transformation. We took into consideration several things when deciding to make the upgrade to new locker rooms. Our locker rooms haven’t been renovated since the building was built in 1969. A lot has changed since then including how our members and community use our Y. With the remodel we will be providing members and program participants with barrier free accessibility, improved privacy better access to the pool and a safer environment for all members. 

So now you ask, What are you doing to upgrade the locker rooms?

  • Gutting everything – but not all at once!
  • Within the new Family Locker Room, we will create private changing and shower rooms – designed for young children and their parents or care givers, seniors, members wishing for increased privacy, and members who need improved access to the facility.
  • We will create a female locker room and a male locker room to serve members in a more modern way, including private showers, new lockers, and improved accessibility for all.  Within these two new locker rooms, we will create private changing and shower rooms for those members seeking additional privacy. Additionally, we will be doubling the number of bathroom facilities for our female members. 
  • By combining youth and adults in the same locker rooms, the increased traffic and activity levels improve the safety and security for all Y members and guests.
  • We will replace all the plumbing, fixtures, air handling equipment, lighting, and more, to improve facility efficiency as well as member and participant comfort.
  • We will create two bathrooms off the pool deck which will improve access for young children, as well as those needing assistance.

Houser Warm Water Pool

 We are excited to not only a new warm water pool, but also a steam room and suana to the Houser Branch in Onalaska.

Construction will start in April with the projects finishing in the fall of 2020.

We bet you have some questions… below is a list that we think will help answer all your questions. 


No. These projects are being funded through a combination of gifts from generous donors and internal YMCA financing. Membership rates are not being changed as a result of the planned improvements

In fact, one of our main objectives as we plan for this remodeling project is improved barrier-free accessibility.  This will include improved access to lockers, additional barrier-free shower rooms, better access to the pool area, and a design that removes the entry doors to the three locker rooms.  

Construction will begin in April of 2020 and will be completed by early fall. 

During construction at the Dahl Branch, we will be staging the projects in a way that ensures that we have locker rooms available for everyone. We will give more details on that later, but always keep the new beautiful locker rooms in the back of your mind during this process.

Plans include the addition of two bathrooms off of the pool deck.  This will dramatically improve bathroom access for members and guests and will no longer require members to walk through the locker rooms to access the bathrooms. 

This is a recommendation and “best practice” recommended by the YMCA of the USA.  The transition to three locker rooms allows us to improve privacy, increase  the number of bathroom facilities, improve safety and security for our members because of the increased traffic and volume, design a family locker room with private changing/shower rooms, bring private changing rooms into the male and female locker room and so much more!

Once remodeled, the locker rooms will not include lounges. A few years ago we created a wonderful community lounge space off of the locker rooms. This space is equipped with coffee, snacks, lounge furniture, high tables and chairs and more.

We’re excited to be planning for a family locker room that will include fourteen private changing and shower rooms. Several of these room will be fully handicap accessible.

Plans include new air handling equipment, improved ventilation and an improved ability to control temperature and humidity within the locker rooms and community lounge.

The new design will have children and adults using the same locker rooms. Since the Y opened in Onalaska in 2006, children and adults have been using the same locker rooms without any issues or concerns. Additionally, the proposed locker room design is consistent with the design of contemporary YMCA’s and the increased traffic and activity levels improve the safety and security for all Y members and guests.

Our plans include a new steam room and sauna located off the deep end of Why Now? the swimming pool, accessible from the pool. These new spaces will be state of the art, large, co-ed and easily accessible.

The decision to relocate the steam room and sauna is based on improved safety and security for our members resulting from these spacing being more visible to Y staff and members.

Once the project is completed, lockers will continue to be available for rent in the male and female locker rooms.

Once the remodeling projects are complete, members will continue to get their towels at the member services desk.

YES! We are very excited to be bringing a warm water swimming pool to the Houser Y to better meet the needs of our senior members, our young members and those members wanting a warmer water experience. Additionally we will be building a large fitness and wellness room above the new pool. It is anticipated that this space will be used for specialized programming as well as a possible medical partnership.


Although we haven’t determined a final temperature for the warm water pool, we are anticipating a temperature of approximately 90°F (current pool temp is about 84°F).


The new warm water pool at the Houser Y will be used for adult water exercise classes, parent and child swim lessons and preschool swim lessons. This will open up additional time in our current pool for lap swim and open swim.

Yes, plans include a steam room and sauna to be constructed in the space behind the slide.  These spaces will be large, state of the art, co-ed, and easily accessible.

Have additional questions?