A grand re-opening as Boothbay Region YMCA ‘is on the move’

Mon, 10/31/2022 - 12:00pm

The hustle and bustle of Wright Ryan workers and their equipment was nowhere to be seen or heard on Saturday morning, Oct. 29 as nearly 200 people gathered to celebrate the grand re-opening of Boothbay Region YMCA after months of construction on the main facility.

As attendees entered the new entrance to the Y, an expansive lobby with a new look and new flooring greeted them. Off to the right is a larger corridor to the Field House, complete with WiFi, coffee and spaces to socialize. Off the lobby is a welcome center with comfortable seating. Located off the welcome center is a teaching kitchen and refurbished office spaces. On the left of the new front desk is the new multi-purpose studio for wellness class and the Y-Arts program. And downstairs, the Wellness Center, with cardio, free weight and Cybex equipment, has been enlarged and refreshed – including a new HVAC system for improved air quality.

Outside is the new parking lot and its new traffic pattern. On the Field House roof are 1,036 solar panels installed by ReVision Energy. The sidewalk, with new lighting, connects with the community sidewalk project.

And there’s much more, some things not evident to the eye – upgrades to electrical and mechanical networks, the new network server, air conditioning, etc.

“The work was completed on time and on budget,” said Charlie Britton, board chair and chair of the “A Greater Impact” Campaign.

The main facility project is the first phase of the Y’s plan to upgrade more of its properties. The second phase will include renovations to the Child Enrichment Center, Camp Knickerbocker, resurfacing the indoor track and lighting in the Field House, investment in Jackson House at Camp K and gifts to the endowment.

Britton, who along with Executive Director Andy Hamblett and Facilities Director Rose Mooney, spoke at the 20-minute introductory celebration held outside the main entrance, said “80% of the funds for phase I of the project have been raised from 144 key stakeholders.

“To date, the Y has received $8.8 million in gifts and pledges toward the $10 million goal and in August, an anonymous couple made a pledge of $2 million, matching all new gifts to the campaign.” Britton said, to date, about $600,000 has been raised toward that match. He thanked those who have contributed and encouraged others to contribute to the campaign. Contributions may be made on the Y’s website, in person at the front desk or by contacting Director of Development Allyson Goodwin. After fundraising for the main facility is complete, fundraising for phase II will be announced.

Hamblett, who welcomed the attendees, spoke of the history of the main facility, built 55 years ago in 1967, and how it conveniently was located next to the school. He recognized the many people involved in the project and praised the staff who worked hard on Friday to get the facility ready for the grand re-opening.

Mooney, who has been with the YMCA for 10 years and was instrumental in the pool project, recognized the work done over the past several years by “the volunteer task force” on the phase I project. She also reviewed the work done during construction and thanked everyone for their support.

Britton said the Y is an extraordinary place, recognized the leadership of Hamblett and former Executive Director Mike Harrison – pointing out they have put in a combined 40 years of service – and thanked Tandy Foundation for the lead gift to the campaign in 2008.

“The Y makes an impact on the community and the community makes an impact on the Y,” said Britton. “This synergy is the heart of our efforts to raise the funds for the main facility and continues to do so ... I am going to tell you today, the Y is on the move.”

The traditional ribbon-cutting ceremony was done by past president of the Y board and honorary trustee Phil Smith and Jack Mooney, son of Rose Mooney, with other people instrumental in the project joining them. Immediately after the ceremony, the crowd rushed toward the front door to view the “new” Y.