Construction of Martha's Vineyard Y to begin in April
First phase will include aquatic center, to open in spring 2010
Construction of the 38,000-square-foot central part of the Vineyard YMCA, including the long-planned aquatic center, will begin in April. The construction schedule calls for the building to be complete and open 10 to 12 months from now, or in the spring of 2010, Chuck Hughes, president of the Y board, announced this week.
Mr. Hughes said that, on Friday evening, the 21-member Y board made a "courageous" decision, and a unanimous one, to begin construction, even though the economy is under stress and there is more than $2 million yet to be raised. Mr. Hughes said his board is "optimistic that we will be able to raise this money, and they know that Martha's Vineyard needs this facility."
"It is a long awaited and courageous decision to make, but the entire board and staff felt the time is now to get this facility built," Mr. Hughes said. "We have a few more hurdles to resolve, but are confident we will resolve any outstanding issues, in order to get the shovel in the ground very soon."
The total of pledged donations to the Y project to date is $11 million. Of the $7 million in donations that had been raised by the end of 2006, in the first part of the fundraising effort, $2 million was earmarked as an endowment for the Y's teen center, in memory of Alexandra Gagnon.
The construction, which will begin next month, will cost $9.2 million. Another $1.06 million will be required to furnish the facility, and $650,000 more to begin operations. The total is $10.9 million. About $1.7 million has been spent already, for architectural fees, site work, consultants, permits, fundraising, and administration.
The Y has on hand $5.1 million in cash. The board expects another $1.6 million from pledges due by August of this year, $500,000 more from a challenge pledge, and $1.5 million in a loan made to the Y by an Island bank. That's $8.7 million. As Mr. Hughes reminds Islanders and supporters of the Y, that leaves $2.2 million yet to be raised, and he appealed for continued generosity on the part of Island residents, seasonal Islanders, and others who have made the Y possible.
"What we have begun, with our vote Friday, is phase one," Mr. Hughes said. "With your help and your support, we will add on and build a gymnasium and other facilities needed here. But, we can only do that with your financial support and assistance."
Mr. Hughes invited supporters and others interested in the Y to visit the organization's website, www.ymcamv.org, where descriptions of the project may be found. Visitors can virtually tour the facility and review the programs to be conducted in all of the spaces. Mr. Hughes added that supporters may also make a donation at the website, an activity that he encouraged and that would be appreciated.