News file photo The main YMCA building on North Main Street, as well as the Sports Center on West Chestnut, will be renovated as part of a $3 million project. The project is expected to begin by the end of November.

News file photo

The main YMCA building on North Main Street, as well as the Sports Center on West Chestnut, will be renovated as part of a $3 million project. The project is expected to begin by the end of November. Request this photo


MOUNT VERNON — Because of community support and a grant from the Ariel Foundation, the Mount Vernon YMCA is set to receive a nearly one-year renovation project in three phases — with the general contractor now hired.

Modern Builders, a construction firm from Mount Vernon that has completed numerous local projects, has been hired as the general contractor, said Nick Clark, YMCA Mount Vernon executive director. The firm’s on-site project manager will be Mike Doup, with construction to commence some time around Nov. 26, Clark said Monday.

The public and hundreds of local contributors have provided 94 percent of the amount needed to reach a $1.5 million capital campaign goal, Clark said. Fundraising events to help achieve that goal have included more than 200 “test drivers” of Ford vehicles, which raised more than $6,000, Clark said. Another, more recent, fundraiser was an October golf outing, which raised more than $3,000. It combined elements of racquetball, basketball and volleyball, making it a truly enjoyable fun event, Clark said.
“What we like seeing is that there has been a broad base of community support for our fundraising toward this project,” Clark said.

The Ariel Foundation has matched every donor dollar, he said. That support was critical in getting the fundraising, which kicked off in February of this year, off to an amazing start with momentum in place from the beginning. The community is willing to put in some of the labor involved in the project, or about $125,000 worth of “sweat equity,” which Ariel will match.

The fundraising will benefit the soon-to-start $3 million renovation at both the YCMA main building, built in 1965 at 103 N. Main St., and the YMCA Sports Center, built in 1990 and located at 200 W. Chestnut St. Both facilities will remain open during construction.

Phase 1 of the project at the main building will take about three months. It will involve a new, single point of entry into the building, from Sugar Street, as well as a spacious new lobby area. The two entry points on North Main and Sugar Street will only be used as exit points. This will enhance the safety and security of the building, Clark said. The first phase will also involve some stairwell work leading downstairs to the main fitness center area. Plans for an elevator will not happen, but a limited use, limited access lift will be installed for those with physical access limitations. The preschool and daycare facility upstairs will be reconfigured so that it will have a dedicated staff-only entrance, also to enhance safety and security, Clark said.

Phase 2 in the main building will involve renovating common spaces such as hallways and restrooms, as well as employee spaces. It will take an estimated three months. This phase is also anticipated to involve Sports Center renovation in common areas that include restrooms and locker rooms. A new family locker room will be added for the facility, which offers 17,000 square feet of space mainly taken up by the equivalent of two full basketball courts.

Phase 3 involves renovations to the fitness center downstairs in the main building — the most widely used part of the YMCA, Clark said. This phase should take four months. There will be new fitness equipment, new lighting and new flooring. Some of the fitness equipment that was still in tip-top shape will be kept. New equipment, much of it already in use, came by way of YMCA members voting on their favorite machine choices offered earlier this year by vendors. They selected Intenza treadmills, two new elliptical machines and a recumbent bike. One of the two rowing machines will likely be replaced.

Much of the work at the main building will entail a new heating, venting, and cooling (HVAC) system. The old pneumatic system was inefficient and produced different temperatures in different parts of the building, Clark said. That problem will be corrected with the new system.

The project architect is Sol Harris Day of Canton, a firm that has designed such local projects as The Grand Hotel on Mount Vernon’s Public Square, he said. Modern Builders will use subcontactors on some of the renovations, such as the HVAC system. The entire project should take 10 months to complete.


Larry Di Giovanni: 740-397-5333 or and on Twitter, @mountvernonnews




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