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March 7, 2013

Y project skips Cape Ann for 'new building'

BEVERLY — YMCAs around the region are about to spend a lot of green to get greener.

But the Cape Ann YMCA in Gloucester is being left out of the $3.85 million project because officials say they expect to build or be in a new facility here within five years.

The YMCA of the North Shore plans to invest just under $4 million to make its buildings more energy-efficient through such measures as pool covers and computerized heating and lighting controls.

YMCA CEO Jack Meany said the moves will save enough energy to recoup the investment in less than 10 years.

“We’re pretty excited,” he said. “We think we’re going to save a substantial amount of money.”

The work will be done on the YMCA’s main buildings in Salem, Beverly, Marblehead, Ipswich and Haverhill.

But the Cape Ann YMCA in Gloucester will be bypassed because the organization expects to build or be operating out of a new site within the next five years, Meany said.

YMCA officials have had at least informal talks with Gloucester city officials regarding the opportunity for the nonprofit to move to the former Fuller School building, but that is just one of a number of options under consideration for the Fuller site, and Mayor Carolyn Kirk has denied the city has any such plans in the works.

Some of the biggest cost savings will come from the installation of automatic covers on the six pools in the five YMCAs, Meany said.

Normally, the air inside a pool has to be kept 2 degrees warmer than the pool water. By covering the pools at night, the air temperature can be lowered from 84 degrees to 60 degrees.

“Pool covers are big energy savers,” Meany said.

In addition, computerized controls will be installed in the YMCA buildings to allow for more efficient use of heating, air conditioning and lighting.

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