BANGOR, Maine — The lengthy process of consolidating the Bangor Y’s two main facilities is almost complete.
Y CEO Mike Seile said Friday that the renovated building on Second Street, which will become the main location, will reopen officially on Dec. 15. The existing facility on Hammond Street will remain open for basketball and cardio and pulmonary rehabilitation, but eventually that building will be shuttered and sold.
“We have been in fifth gear for about 18 months,” Seile said. “It will be nice to show our members the changes to Second Street.”
After the Bangor YMCA and Bangor YWCA merged in 2008 to form the Bangor Y, members of the Y’s board of directors spent months deciding how best to consolidate its locations. In the end, they decided that it was cheaper by about $2 million to renovate Second Street versus Hammond Street.
In 2009 and early 2010, the Y quietly acquired several parcels on Second Street and Sanford Street to allow for expansion of the Second Street location. Several buildings were demolished to create a 100-space parking lot and allow for future expansion on that site.
Down the road, Seile said, the consolidated location will add a two-story welcome center, a full-size basketball court, a new fitness facility and new locker rooms.
“We want to settle in and realize the benefits of phase one of this project first,” he said. “We’ve been operating at a loss for three years; this should help us get back to breaking even.”
The Y has consolidated some staff positions as part of the facility merger. Since August 2009, eight employees have left through attrition. In addition, Seile said, three full-time workers were laid off in October. Each employee received a severance package equal to one week for each year of service. One laid-off employee has returned in a part-time capacity.
The Y has not changed its rates in more than four years, and Seile hopes that continues in the coming years. He also said the Y’s endowment fund, which stands at $1.8 million, will not be touched for the consolidation project.
The $2.6 million project — designed by WBRC Architects-Engineers and constructed by Nickerson & O’Day of Brewer — is being paid for through a seven-year no-interest loan. Any proceeds from eventually selling the Hammond Street location will go back into the project, Seile said.
The YMCA dates back 146 years in Bangor, and the YWCA has had a presence in the city for 96 years. The Y serves approximately 4,500 members in the Bangor area and relies on public support for about one-quarter of its total revenue.