YMCA officials, Gov. Charlie Baker, Mayor Tom McGee and other dignataries came out Friday to break ground on a
new $30 million YMCA facility in downtown Lynn.
The planned 70,000 square-foot facility will be built directly in front of the current YMCA on Neptune Boulevard. Slated to open in 2020, the new facility will have seven preschool classrooms, a 12,000 square-foot fitness area, a gymnasium, a kithen and café, as well as an aquatic center and 6,000 square-foot rooftop garden.
Bruce Macdonald, president and CEO of YMCA Metro North, stressed that it’s not just building a facility that’s important but also the fact it will include STEAM education (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) aspects to it.
The facility is surrounded by schools such as Lynn Tech, St. Mary’s, Washington Elementary and a new KIPP Academy High School. All combined with the Y will be known as the Education District.
“This neighborhood is about to change in a dramatic way,” Macdonald said.
“This is a great example of how when you put a whole bunch of people together who share a vision, you get really great things done,” Baker said.
Also attending the groundbreaking were Tom DeMakes of Old Neighborhood Meats; Lauren Liss of MassDevelopment; Peter Sargent of the Masschusetts Housing Investment Corporation and Taima Walker, a YMCA staff member; and Amanda Mena, a former contestant on “America’s Got Talent” and YMCA Music Studio participant, who sang “God Bless America.”
Also attending were State Rep. Dan Cahill; State Rep. Lori Ehrlich and State Rep. Donald Wong.
The YMCA will receive $6.8 million in New Market Tax Credits, another $4.8 million comes from a MassWorks grant and gifts from the DeMakes family, the Gerondelis Foundation, the Van Otterloo family, Stephen Hendrickson and $10 million more from private donations. There is also a MassDevelopment bond for $8 million to go toward the project.
“I make hotdogs for a living, but I don’t want that on my tombstone. I want it written we all helped the City of Lynn,” said Demakes.
“I know the members that have been a part of this YMCA have envisioned a beautiful new YMCA for a long time,” McGee said.