Bangor Y plans to close one facility, expand and renovate the other

8:33 AM, Feb 26, 2010   |    comments
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BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Five years ago, the Bangor YMCA and YWCA started the process of merging into one organization known as the Bangor Y, now it is continuing that mission.

The Bangor Y continues to run programs out of the YWCA and YMCA buildings, but that is about to change.  Currently, people who want to swim and enjoy water sports go to the Second street location, but those who want to work out in the fitness center go to the Hammond street facility.

The organization plans to close and sell the Hammond street property and begin a $2.2 million dollar renovation and expansion at Second street.

"As you can imagine we're heating duplicate space with the 90,000 square feet we have today, " said Bangor Y CEO Mike Seile.

Seile says the Bangor Y would pay for the project through lower operational costs, capital funds from the YM Foundation, and an interest only loan that would be financed over 7 years.  Seile says memberships dues will not go up as a result of this project.

"Our effort to consolidate into one location is to maintain affordable memberships here at the Y," he said.

Under the plan, the Bangor Y would spend $1.8 million dollars to buy 9 surrounding properties along Second Street Avenue and Sanford Street.  The properties would allow for construction of a 110 space parking lot and future expansion of the facility. Another $400,000 thousand would go toward renovating the existing Second Street facility.

Not everyone is thrilled with the idea to close Hammond Street.  Alex Moreno has been a member at the Hammond Street facility since 1962.

"It's very sad to see it go," he said.

Rich Armstrong, a member at Hammond Street for the last 20 years has a different reaction.

"All new parking, all new equipment, one location. You can swim. You can gym. It's a great idea. It's about time," he said.

Seile says he hopes all members eventually embrace this move.  The Bangor Y still has several regulatory steps to go through with the city before the project can go forward.  Seile is hoping to be shovel ready by May and have the project complete by the end of June.

















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