The Greater Burlington Y is a crossroads for people from different social and economic worlds. It’s a community. Soon, the Y community will have a new home.
After more than 150 years, the Y’s sense of community has become harder to maintain because our current building is physically inaccessible for far too many, inefficient, and ill-suited for today’s needs. By constructing a new home just up the street, the Y is renewing its commitment to the community.
A BRIGHT FUTURE
The new facility will be bright, accessible, energy efficient, sustainable, and welcoming. It will be designed for modern community needs—including not just better fitness, aquatics and child care facilities, but also community gathering places.
With your support, a new 60,000 square foot building will transform the Y and create a revitalized community partner poised to offer the facility and programs that our community needs and deserves, including:
- Modern, bright, inviting fitness, group exercise, and aquatics facilities.
50 additional infant and toddler child care slots in a secure, modern space designed for early learning.
Fully ADA compliant space with an elevator and universally accessible design.
Energy efficiency that benefits the environment and the bottom line.
Common ground for people from all across the community.
The opportunity to increase programming that supports an aging population.
The new facility is projected to greatly increase membership, restoring the Y’s revenue engine and generating the funds needed to support community service programs and scholarships.
Project Timeline: The Y's Search for a New Home
2001 - 2009
2001: Master Plan lays out options for renovating existing Y facility at 266 College St.
2002: Y considers move to Main Street (current site of Perrywinkle’s Jewelry)
2004-2005: Moran Plant emerges as possible site for a new Y in partnership with the city of Burlington. In 2005 City elections, Burlington voters deny the proposal.
2005-2006: The Y considers and then rejects Pine Street location (currently site of Dealer.com)
2008: Champlain College outbids the Y to buy the site of the Ethan Allen Club at 298 College St.
2012 - 2014
2012: Y launches “Staying in the Heart Campaign” with renewed focus on renovating current facility at 266 College St. More than $4 million raised in the first year of the campaign.
2013-2014: At the urging of the City of Burlington, the Y pauses its project to consider a move to Memorial Auditorium. Subsequent research determines that the facility is not adequate.
2015 - 2020
2015: Y purchases the former Ethan Allen Club at 298 College St. from Champlain College, which has determined that its planned dormitories will not work on the site. Current facility at 266 College St. listed for sale. Staying in the Heart Campaign re-launched with nearly $5 million raised and a total $18 million fundraising goal toward a $25 million project.
2016: Responding to feedback from potential donors, new Y CEO Kyle Dodson adjusts the project size and goal to a total of $15 million of fundraising toward a $22 million project. The new project attracts $4 million in new support in its first 6 months for a total of $9 million raised.
2017: More than $5.5 million in new commitments bring the Staying in the Heart Campaign to within $500,000 of the total $15 million goal. The Y Board authorizes planning and contracting to begin construction in 2018.
2018: Anticipated groundbreaking and completion of the Staying in the Heart campaign.
2020: Anticipated grand opening of the new Y.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do we need a new YMCA?
Our current Y facility, built in 1934, is outdated, inefficient, and inaccessible to many in our community. It has become a barrier to membership and threatens our ability to provide many of the Y’s crucial services. A new facility will revitalize the Y, increase member retention, and boost membership upon opening, providing much needed revenue for years to come. The new Y will allow us to expand our on-site child care center and create 50 new infant & toddler slots in a state with pressing shortages.
What will happen to the current YMCA building at 266 College Street?
We have a signed agreement for the sale of our current building that allows us to lease back the space after the sale and until construction is complete on the new facility.
Where will the new YMCA be built?
Just 150 steps away at 298 College Street, which is the current location of the Y Annex. It was formerly the Ethan Allen Club.
What will happen to the classes currently at the Annex?
During construction, we will be limited to holding classes at the Y’s current main facility at 266 College Street. This transition will begin no earlier than August, 2018. Y staff are working to consolidate and rearrange schedules to best meet member needs during this time. Stay tuned for updates.
Does the YMCA own the land for the new building?
When is the new Y going to open?
The YMCA will be breaking ground in fall 2018, with a tentative winter 2019-2020 opening date.
Will the current Y remain open during construction?
Yes. Our fitness, aquatics, child care, and other programs are expected to continue in our current building until we open our new facility at 298 College Street.
Will there be a pool?
Will member rates increase?
Yes, although we do expect strong growth in membership numbers that will help us keep increases as modest as possible.
Will there be parking and better child care drop off?
The new Y is expected to have less parking than the Annex currently provides. As Y staff develop plans for use of the parking space, our priorities will be providing a safe place for child care drop off and providing as much room as possible for member parking.
Will the Y continue to offer Financial Aid and Scholarships?
Yes. Last year, with the help and generosity of our donors we were able to provide over $550,000 in scholarships. Our new building will strengthen our economic engine, helping ensure that we can continue to provide support to those in need in our community.
Is this YMCA part of the National YMCA organization? Will they be providing money toward the campaign?
The Greater Burlington YMCA is part of the National YMCA organization. The National Organization does not support local YMCA capital campaigns with monetary donations. While we do pay a fee to the national Y, 100% of funds donated to the campaign stay in Vermont for this project.
What are the estimated total project cost and how will it be funded?
The estimated total project cost is $22 million. The project will be funded by approximately $15 million in privately donated funds and approximately $7 million from the sale of the 266 College Street building and New Markets Tax Credits.
Does my membership fee support the Campaign or construction costs?
No—not directly. Membership fees are crucial for the general operation of the facility and Y mission work, but do not cover construction costs. However, there is an indirect impact of membership fees on the overall building project and our fundraising: the banks and other entities assessing New Markets Tax Credits and applications for bridge loans (needed during the construction period as pledged gifts are paid off), as well as the donors who decide if they want to give to the Y, all want to know that the Y has a strong membership revenue base.
How will donations be recognized in the new building?
All donors to the Campaign, regardless of amount given, will be listed in our new building, unless you’d like to remain anonymous. In addition to the standard donor listing, those who make a gift of $5,000 or more will be recognized more prominently in the design of our donor wall. Significant room/building features are available for naming starting at $25,000. Please contact Rick Blount, VP of Development at Rblount@gbymca.org or 802-652-8146 for more information.
Is the YMCA a charity?
Yes, the Y is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that serves the needs of the Greater Burlington area. Your donations to the Y are tax-deductible and help us deliver needed programs and services to the community.
How can I support the Campaign?
You can donate here. Gifts are fully tax-deductible and gifts of $3,000 or more may be paid over three years.
Staying in the Heart Campaign Committee
Rick Davis & Christine Stiller
Phil Daniels, Co-Chair
Lisa Ventriss, Co-Chair
Kyle Dodson, President & CEO
Rick Blount, Vice President of Development
Cassie Lindsay, Director of Philanthropic Relationships
Eliza Pickard, Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations
Emily Kalucki, Donor Services Manager
"Now is the time to build the Y a home that fits our vision, our capabilities, and our passion to meet the community’s greatest challenges."
Kyle Dodson, President & CEO, GBYMCA