Facility to go up next to Sunny Day
By Angie Landsverk
After several years of offering classes at Waupaca’s recreation center, Carousel Gymnastics is now preparing to construct a 10,000-square-foot facility in the city.
The Waupaca Common Council approved a developer’s agreement with Carousel Gymnastics when it met on June 21.
“We’re hoping to break ground in mid July,” Tiffany Losinski, manager of the business, told the Waupaca County Post.
The gymnastics facility will be constructed on Godfrey Drive, in the city’s Business and Technology Park.
It will be built on a three-acre parcel next to Sunny Day Childcare & Preschool.
Earlier this month, the common council approved an offer from Carousel Gymnastics to purchase the three acres from the city at a cost of $45,000.
The price per acre in the business park is typically $30,000 per acre, which means the city is providing Carousel Gymnasitcs with a subsidy of $45,000.
Carousel Gymnastics also sought a developer’s agreement.
The approved agreement includes a total incentive package – or city subsidy – that is not to exceed $130,000.
The amount includes the $45,000 land donation and a total of $85,000 in payments to Carousel from the TIF revenue the city receives.
The property is in a Tax Incremental Financing District, and the city will begin making annual payments to Carousel Gymnastics in 2018, with the final payment projected to take place in 2022.
The agreement between the city and business includes a guarantee from Carousel Gymnastics that the value of the property will be no less than $450,000 on Jan. 1, 2017 and no less than $650,000 on Jan. 1, 2018.
The assumed mill rate for each of the years of the agreement is $27 per $1,000 of assessed valuation.
That equates to assumed taxes of $12,150 when the property’s value is $450,000 and assumed taxes of $17,500 when the property’s value is $650,000.
The payments to Carousel Gymnastics will be drawn from those annual assumed TIF revenue amounts.
Once ground is broken for the project, construction is expected to take five to six months, Losinski said.
She said the goal is to open the facility in December or January.
“It would be a good time for a Christmas present for kids,” she said.
Losinski’s mother, Chris Barden, is the owner of Carousel Gymnastics.
Barden has more than 30 years of coaching experience and has been in business for 20 years.
Involved in gymnastics since the age of 3, Losinski coaches all levels, in addition to being the manager.
She competed in gymnastics at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.
“I think initially, what got me kind of hooked was there’s always another challenge,” she said.
Losinski said once a skill is learned, there is another one to master.
She said the sport also helped her in other ways, including on the volleyball court.
“Most gymnasts can go into another sport and do well in it,” she said.
It was actually while she was playing volleyball in a league at the Waupaca Recreation Center that she was asked if she had ever thought about bringing the gymnastics program to Waupaca.
“Carousel had a volleyball team,” Losinski said. “I ended up talking to (Parks and Recreation Director) Aaron (Jenson) and working things out. We figured, if anything, we wanted to see if there was interest here before starting to build.”
She believes they are going into their fourth year of offering gymnastics classes in Waupaca.
People drive from throughout the area, including from Fremont, Iola, Scandinavia and Wild Rose, for the classes.
Losinski said they are getting to the point where the older students in the program require the training, tools and equipment which are at the Plover location.
Some families will drive to that facility, while others opt to discontinue the program.
The discussion to build a facility in Waupaca began about a year ago.
“This really seemed like a nice spot,” Losinski said of the site chosen.
They needed a lot of space and liked the idea of being next to Sunny Day Childcare & Preschool, which already brings children to the recreation center for classes.
“They can walk them right next door to class,” Losinski said.
With the site off the State Highway 22/54 bypass, it also means it will be an easy place to get to, she said.
The facility being constructed in Waupaca will be larger than the Plover one.
It will have a spring floor, in-ground pits, trampolines, a tumble track, gymnastic equipment and also a dance gym for dance/gymnastics classes.
Losinski said they also want to begin offering new classes here, including the Boys Warrior Zone (for ages 7 and up) and Gymnast Strong, a gymnastics-based fitness class featuring circuit training and cardio for school-aged children and adults.
“Hopefully, every year we can add another program,” she said. “We’d eventually like to add a special needs program. It would also be neat to have a high school program. We could potentially do a co op program.”
The new facility also means Carousel Gymnastics will have the need for more employees.
Losinski said they are still working out those details but will probably need about 10 new employees. Some of those positions will be full-time ones.
She encourages those with an interest in working there to not be afraid of applying without any gymnastics experience.
There are many training tools and clinics available, Losinski said.
“If they’re good with kids, have high energy and are willing to work, they should not be afraid of applying,” she said.
Her mother got involved in coaching after watching her take classes.
“My mom started without any experience in gymnastics at all,” Losinski said. “She stepped in for a teacher and loved it.”