After years of planning, the Greater Burlington YMCA is one step closer to completing its new Downtown Burlington facility.
“The more the building starts to look like the Y, the more people get excited about the Y,” said Kyle Dodson, President and CEO of Greater Burlington YMCA.
The organization marked the occasion with a “topping off” ceremony Thursday afternoon. It’s an old European style tradition where the last beam of the structure is decorated with flags and a small tree, before being raised in front of the community.
“When you put up the steel of a building, it’s a milestone,” Dodson said. “It’s the infrastructure, the skeleton of the building, one of the most important pieces.”
The celebration comes one year to the day after the YMCA first publicly announced the building plans. Everyone at the ceremony got to write their name on the final steel beam, before construction workers raised it into place at the highest point of the building.
“The YMCA is the heart of so many of our key challenges as a community,” said Mayor Miro Weinberger. “Whether it’s about childcare, whether it’s about health, or just having a convening place.”
The 50,000 sq ft facility will be just a few hundred feet away from the Y’s current location on College Street. It will feature modern group exercise facilities, a fully ADA compliant space, and an expansion of the Y’s child care program.
“50 new infant/toddler seats, which is new capacity for the hardest earliest childhood seats to achieve,” Dodson said.
That funding was made possible through the city’s “First Steps Scholarship Program” announced on Wednesday.
YMCA staff say the facility is on track to open early next year.