A 50,000-square-foot Greater Burlington YMCA is set to open at 298 College Street on January 1 following a years-long, $28 million project to update and modernize its popular facility, according to the Y's director of communications, Doug Bishop.
To make the Y more accessible, membership rates will drop. A single adult membership will cost $49 per month, down from the current $70. A two-adult family membership will decrease from $98 to $84 per month. One-adult families will pay $74, down from $82. A financial assistance program will provide scholarships to those who demonstrate need.
The current Y, a 1934 red-brick structure at 266 College Street, is “a rabbit warren” of rooms and stairs where few spaces serve their original purpose, said Bishop. The new facility, just 150 steps from the old Y at the former Ethan Allen Club, will use space more efficiently and purposefully. It complies fully with the Americans with Disabilities Act, equipped with an elevator, wide doors and hallways that can accommodate wheelchairs. Both the lap pool and program pool will be equipped with lift chairs. Young children can enjoy a new "splash pad."
Greater Burlington YMCA
Rendering of new pools
In addition to men’s and women’s changing rooms, a universal changing room with six suites that each include a shower, toilet and changing area will offer an option for nonbinary members and families with young children. The Y will have a designated wing for its childcare program and will add 50 infant and toddler childcare slots through the winter and spring. Members will have access to 47 first-come, first-served parking spots, including several handicapped spaces.
The opening will mark the culmination of a lengthy process. It was August 2015 when the Greater Burlington YMCA purchased 298 College Street for $2.5 million. Construction began in the fall of 2018.
The entire project came in at $28 million, said Bishop. The Y’s Staying in the Heart capital campaign raised more than $19 million, surpassing its $15 million goal. Additional funds came from the sale of the 266 College Street building to a Florida-based investment firm and the federal New Markets Tax Credit program, which aims to incentivize community development and economic growth.
The Y is planning several special events for the January 1 opening, and a more formal grand opening is slated for later in January.