Building New Stories: YMCA Prepares to Break Ground
Last week, Riverbrook Regional YMCA CEO Robert McDowell reached out to membership via email with big news:
“We launched our Building New Stories Capital Campaign over four years ago. We are so thankful to those generous partners who have helped us raise over $5.7 million towards our $7.5 million goal. We have received 100% participation from our board members and trustees, and have secured town approval with the Inland Wetlands Commission and P&Z. So, we look forward to beginning right away, staging the project on Feb. 8, 2019 with groundbreaking in March 2019!
Wilton’s YMCA has had a legacy of strengthening the community since 1972. According to McDowell, a facility expansion is necessary to allow the Y to continue to provide quality programs and services to more children, more teens, more adults and more seniors, and help them to realize their greatest potential.
The Building New Stories campaign is much more than a renewal of our physical space,” explains Christene Freedman, the Y’s chief development officer. “The campaign is a vision to transform our impact in the community. By going up, we will go forward, and create new stories of youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility.”
When the Building New Stories Project is completed this coming Fall 2019, the community will benefit from a state-of-the-art facility that brings people together, and that not only emphasizes, but also facilitates healthy living and neighborly support. The improvements slated to be made include:
- A spacious wellness center, double in size and equipped with new strength and cardio training equipment
- Modernized locker rooms close to the new Fitness Center and the 25-yard pool with large family changing areas and accessible space for seniors and people with special needs
- Three new universal locker rooms
- Four dedicated group exercise studios
- A new playful Kids Club room for babysitting services
- An expanded, bright and open lobby
- A new drop off zone in the parking lot with a WALKING PATH all the way from the bridge near the Danbury Rd. entrance to the main entrance of the YMCA building
- A new bubble, pool filtration and water heat exchanger, and moveable bulkhead for the 50-meter Melissa and Mark Nickel Memorial Pool
The YMCA is committed to keeping the community informed around the impact of the construction process on the facility: what will remain open, and which areas will be closed as of a particular starting date. Officials have posted key dates online:
- March 1: the 25-yard pool and locker rooms will close. A modified swim lesson schedule will be put in place at that time. Members will still have access to both the 50-meter pool and locker rooms, which are scheduled to remain open through the fall.
- On April 15, a new “temporary” entrance/reception opens and the Kids Club will move to the Paddle Hut. The Beach, Pond, and Splash Pad will still open on Memorial Day weekend and Camp Gordyland is getting ready for another fun summer.
“We are fortunate to have partnered with the Wilton Board of Education, which has granted us use of the Wilton High School this summer. The High School will serve as Camp Gordyland’s ‘headquarters’ and it’s where drop off and pick up will take place,” explains Freedman. “All camp activities will remain in place at the Y, including swimming, archery, high and low ropes course, beach and pond, gaga pits, and more.”
A dedicated website has been created to provide the community with construction updates, pictures, and progress towards fundraising goals. Since the Y participates in the Y-USA’s National Membership Program and the Local Y’s Reciprocity Agreement, members may also visit other local participating Y’s during the renovation.
“We are looking forward to providing a new and bigger space for our YMCA members to create their own ‘stories’ of success every day,” says Freedman. “Whether it’s a story of a member getting stronger after cancer treatment, the child finding a place of belonging in Special Olympics, the adult losing 70 pounds and having their blood pressure return to normal, the senior making new friends in the Enhanced Fitness classes…there are so many stories to be launched and the YMCA is proud to be a part of it.”
Below, find the flyer about the renovation that is scheduled to begin this week.