LYNN — Work gets underway Tuesday on the first phase of the YMCA’s new $30 million home.
The 70,000-square-foot project begins along Wheeler Street in front of the YMCA with utility relocation, including moving a major communications cable.
“It runs right down the middle of the road,” said Bruce Macdonald, president and CEO of YMCA of Metro North. “It’s one of our major challenges.”
YMCA members received a project update on Friday that cautioned them to use the parking lot at Neptune Boulevard and Blossom Street, with construction eliminating on-street parking.
The bulletin also said a section of Wheeler off Tremont Street will be blocked to traffic by a construction staging area. Macdonald said New Hampshire contractor Newport Construction will spend about 14 weeks moving utilities and doing related work in preparation for building construction.
A project groundbreaking is planned for the second week of October and construction is slated to begin by the end of the month.
Scheduled to open in fall of 2019, the new YMCA will rival the Lynn/van Otterloo YMCA in Marblehead and dwarf the 45,000-square-foot Torigian Family YMCA in Peabody.
When completed, the new Y will contain an aquatics center, indoor track, gymnasium, and a new childcare facility for 390 children. The old building will be repurposed for multiple uses, including youth and family programming.
So far, $22 million has been raised for the project with funding sources including about $9.2 million in private donations, $7 million received from New Markets Tax Credit and a $4.8 million MassWorks grant, with the latter earmarked to support infrastructure for the project, Macdonald said.
Macdonald credited Old Neighborhood Foods owner Thomas Demakes for leading the fundraising effort.
“He is really spearheading it,” Macdonald said. “We’ve been working at this for a long time.”