YMCA Announces Transition to Tower Square
The YMCA of Greater Springfield announces that it will proceed with the development of an all-new, state-of-the-art facility at Tower Square to house its wellness and child care programming, targeted to open this fall.
According to YMCA of Greater Springfield incoming Board Chair Jeff Poindexter, “We appreciate our loyal members who have been with us at our Chestnut Street facility, and we are excited to be able to offer them the same quality programs at a new, first-class facility at Tower Square. We believe this move to brand new facilities in the center of the city will allow the organization to continue to fulfill its mission and, more importantly, to grow. We are as committed as ever to meeting the needs of greater Springfield for years to come.”
Child Care Center:
The new home for the Springfield Y will include a 15,000 square-foot education center, serving infants through elementary school students, with bright new classrooms and other state-of-the-art amenities. The plans also include an outdoor playground on the sixth floor of the building with brand new playground equipment and an indoor playroom. The YMCA will continue to operate afterschool programs in various schools throughout the region.
Child Care Center amenities include curbside pick-up and drop-off for preschool and school-age children; free parking; newly-furnished classrooms; and technology centers in every room.
The Y will continue to offer its popular fitness and health programming in a brand new 12,000 square-foot wellness center on the mezzanine level of Tower Square, adjacent to the air walk connecting Monarch Place. A variety of premium strength and conditioning equipment will be available in a bright, inviting space featuring a view overlooking the city.
Amenities for the Wellness Center include free garage parking for all YMCA members and visitors; an open floor plan; a new group exercise room with all classes included in the membership; new state-of-the-art spin room; new sauna and locker rooms; and a walking track.
The Strategic Decision:
The current Chestnut Street facility has been the home for many Y members and programs for over 50 years. However, it is no longer able to attract the membership needed to sustain a facility of its size. Data provided by strategic consultants showed that the membership base would not reach a level that could support a building that large.
YMCA leadership determined that the move to Tower Square is the most economically-feasible alternative to upgrade its facilities while continuing to serve downtown Springfield. The YMCA child care and wellness center will now be in bright new space with easy access, security and close proximity to the current location.
The owners of Tower Square are working in partnership with the YMCA to help finance the cost of the buildout of the Tower Square facility. In addition, the Y is launching a capital campaign to help pay for furnishing the space.
Dexter Johnson, President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Springfield, said with the formal announcement about plans to move to Tower Square, the YMCA will make the Chestnut Street property and adjacent parking lot available for sale. Home City Housing recently acquired the second floor of the tower at the YMCA after previously purchasing the third through sixth floors. Renovations are currently underway in those areas of the building, as Home City Housing expands its housing footprint with 104 units of single-room occupancy residences. Johnson said the YMCA at Chestnut Street would stay open to serve members until the new facility is completed.
Johnson said, “We are excited about developing dynamic new space that will help the YMCA grow. We understand that the pool and basketball gym will be notably missed from the new location. We will initiate new partnerships with Boys & Girls Clubs and other community organizations that will allow us to maintain learn-to-swim programming. It is crucial for young people to learn how to swim and we look forward to providing this program at other locations.
“We will also continue to provide youth sports programs at the Dunbar Community Center. Our dedicated staff will work hard to make the transition seamless for our current members, and we look forward to the opportunity to grow afforded by our new location in the heart of the city. At its core, the YMCA is about the programs that are offered and the people who serve and are served. The YMCA has a rich legacy here in Springfield, and we remain focused on providing opportunities for youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.”
In addition to these Springfield-based programs, the YMCA of Greater Springfield operates the Scantic Valley YMCA, Wilbraham Early Learning Center and Stony Brook Acres Camp in Wilbraham, Camp Weber in West Springfield and youth development programs throughout the Pioneer Valley. The YMCA in Springfield was established in 1852 and has been a way of life for thousands of youth, teens, families and seniors throughout the region.