PHOTO: Among those gathered for today’s groundbreaking ceremony for the YMCA in the North End were, from left to right: New Brunswick Finance and Treasury Board Minister Ernie Steeves; Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, and Member of Parliament for Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe; Moncton Mayor Dawn Arnold; Wendy Nason, member of the North End Citizens’ Committee; and YMCA of Greater Moncton CEO Zane Korytko. (Photo: Daniel St. Louis)

Official groundbreaking held for YMCA in Moncton’s North End

(Moncton, N.B. – June 28, 2019) Community, government and YMCA representatives gathered today for a groundbreaking ceremony marking the official start of construction for the new YMCA in Moncton’s North End.

“Modern recreation facilities play a significant role in the health and wellbeing of our communities,” the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, and Member of Parliament for Moncton–Riverview–Dieppe, said at today’s event, on behalf of the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities. “That’s why I’m happy to be here today as we break ground on the new branch of the YMCA of Greater Moncton. This beautiful facility will be a transformative space where friends and families can come together to be active, and participate in great social events, fitness classes, or club activities that connect all members of the Moncton community, young and old alike.”

While today was the official groundbreaking for the YMCA in Moncton’s North End, site clearing and foundation work began in the spring. The satellite YMCA is being built along a not-yet-completed extension of Twin Oaks Drive, between École Le Sommet and Evergreen Park School. Acadian Construction Ltd. is construction manager for the project.

The federal and provincial governments have each committed $4 million to the project while the City of Moncton is contributing $6 million, $2 million of which is for road development. The YMCA will be responsible for the remaining $3 million of the $15-million facility.

The current YMCA at 30 War Veterans Avenue will operate as usual after the YMCA in the North End opens. YMCA members will have access to both facilities. Some features at the new Y will be open to the community at large.

“Our government is proud to invest in important community infrastructure projects such as the Moncton YMCA that support strong, healthy communities,” said New Brunswick Finance and Treasury Board Minister Ernie Steeves, on behalf of Justice Minister Andrea Anderson-Mason, who is also minister responsible for the Regional Development Corporation. “I want to congratulate the YMCA of Greater Moncton, its partners and the surrounding community on this milestone.”

In December 2017, Moncton City Council unanimously approved proceeding with the project, working with the YMCA to facilitate the design and construction of a centre in Moncton’s North End. The partnership agreement followed feasibility studies, conceptual planning and a detailed functional program review to establish a clear understanding of activities that could be accommodated.

The 35,000 square-foot satellite YMCA will be about half the size of the current Y and will feature areas for fitness programs, community programs, a licensed after-school program, an indoor splash pad and playground, multi-purpose spaces, and an elevated, indoor track with elevator access.

“The North End continues to be the fastest growing area in our City, and the addition of a YMCA will provide much needed community and recreation space to support healthy living,” said Moncton Mayor Dawn Arnold. “Ensuring that residents have access to these types of facilities is important to us; in fact, it’s part of the City’s Strategic Plan.

“This project has been a true collaborative effort. I want to thank both the Provincial and Federal governments for their support and contribution. I also want to highlight the hard work and dedication of the citizens’ committee who have been involved since the very beginning.”

YMCA of Greater Moncton CEO Zane Korytko also thanked all involved in the project, describing it as one that “will benefit residents of Greater Moncton for decades to come by promoting healthy living and nurturing the potential of our young people.”

“We are proud to have been asked to partner on this centre and fully committed to having it open for users in the fall of 2020,” said Korytko.

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FAQs:

Q: Where did the idea for a community centre in Moncton’s North End originate?

A: More than a decade ago, a group of citizens approached the city for a community centre in that area citing a lack of recreational and community services in the North End. Within a few years, Moncton City Council added capital funding for such a project. Knowing the costs would be greater for the project to see the light of day, the YMCA and the City established funding partnerships with provincial and federal governments.

Q: How did the YMCA of Greater Moncton get involved with the North End project? 

A: In 2014, the City of Moncton invited the YMCA to discuss partnering on construction of a centre. YMCAs across Canada frequently partner with municipalities on such projects after being invited to do so because of the quality and delivery of Y programs. YMCAs are known for taking a community’s vision and figuring out how best to make it sustainable in the long-term.

Q: What has been the timeline since then?

AFall 2015: Corporate Research Associates – on behalf of the YMCA – carried out a feasibility study that included telephone and online surveys with north-end residents to determine what recreational services and community services they valued most.

March 2016: The results of the feasibility study were presented to Moncton City Council. It clearly indicated that there was a need and a demand for a YMCA community centre in the North End. The study found that residents would like a centre to offer fitness classes, recreational sports programs, an indoor splash pad and playground, literacy programs, seniors’ programs and wellness programs. Council asked city staff to report back that summer or fall with information as to what a partnership between the YMCA and the City would look like (ownership and operating arrangements) and what would be included in the possible centre. Planning evolved to include the YMCA, the City and the north-end residents’ committee working together to jointly recommend the best model legally, financially and operationally.

December 2017: Moncton City Council unanimously approved proceeding with the north-end project, working together with the YMCA to facilitate the centre’s design and construction. The partnership agreement followed feasibility studies, conceptual planning and a detailed functional program review to establish a clear understanding of activities that could be accommodated at the centre.

March 2019: A public hearing was held regarding the rezoning of the land where the centre was proposed to be built. No objections were received. Moncton City Council unanimously approved the rezoning.

Q: How will the centre work? Who will run it?

A:  The YMCA will own and operate the facility. For almost 150 years, the YMCA of Greater Moncton—a registered charity—has provided children and adults with a variety of programs and services dedicated to personal growth and has spearheaded many community initiatives.

As part of its capital funding commitment and the partnership agreement, the City of Moncton remains involved in the project at all stages. Certain elements of the centre will be available to all residents.

Q: How big will the centre be? What features will the new facility include?  

A: The new facility will be about 35,000 square feet, about half the size of the downtown Y.  It will include various components and services that complement those provided at the main YMCA. The centre will feature areas for fitness programs, community programs, an indoor splash pad and playground, multi-purpose spaces and an elevated, indoor track with elevator access. It will offer member programs like fitness classes, recreational sports, personal training and youth activities. Licensed after-school programs will also be included. The facility is being designed with expansion in mind as future projects like a library are an option.

Q. Will all residents require a YMCA membership to participate in the community centre?

A:  The YMCA is for everyone. It helps people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities lead healthier, more active, more connected lives, regardless of their financial situation. The community centre will not only be accessible to YMCA members but the community at large. All residents will be able to access features free of charge such as the indoor walking track, community rooms and public gathering spaces. The Y will have a number of membership options available as well as convenient drop-in options.

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