After years of planning, the much anticipated West Roxbury Branch YMCA renovations are closer to breaking ground. YMCA District Vice President Marion Kelly and Board of Advisors Chairman Jim Hennigan shared their updated plans during the West Roxbury Neighborhood Council meeting at the District E-5 Police Station’s Community Room.
“We came up with a new design that had more usable space within the existing footprint of the building,” said Kelly on Tuesday night.
YMCA’s present 22,000 square foot facility will almost double to 39,000 square feet. Kelly and Hennigan took a moment to walk the council through the detailed floor plans. The purchases of the old post office on Centre Street and the Boston Aid to the Blind building added new dynamics and possibilities to the design.
“We’ve been seeking a greater presence on Centre Street and purchasing these properties has made that possible,” said Hennigan.
To date, the YMCA has raised around $6.5 million towards the project, which is estimated to total between $14 and $16 million. Presently, they are in the process of raising an additional $600,000 before construction starts in spring 2013.
One highlight of the new construction will be the tentatively named West Roxbury YMCA Community Pavilion. It will be a year round, outdoor space for different YMCA and community programming. The old post office building on Centre Street will be knocked down to make space for this addition.
“We will have opportunities to host everything from movie nights and theatre groups to a place where the community can enjoy a nice space,” said Hennigan. “Other than our fields, West Roxbury, between Holy Name Church and the VA Hospital, does not really have a main gathering space, like Roslindale’s [Adams Park]. [The pavillion] could be it.”
Historically, parking has been a consistent challenge with the YMCA. Right now, the lot is very small and motor vehicle traffic comes in and out through Quinn Way. About 70 additional parking spaces will be added to the present lot, with some located below the pavilion.
According to Hennigan, the YMCA will be completed in one phase and will remain open throughout construction. The only aspect of the project that will see a phase is the construction around the new pool.