The YMCA of the North Shore has received a $100,000 grant for the Cape Ann YMCA facility being built at 7 Gloucester Crossing Road.

The money was awarded by the Cummings Foundation through its $20 Million Grant Program. 

"I remember when Bill and Joyce (Cummings) established grant program in 1986," said Cape Ann YMCA Executive Director Tim Flaherty. "To see all these wonderful nonprofits receiving these grants now and for us to be apart of it, it's extremely exciting."

With the grant, YMCA North Shore is now in the running to be part of the Cummings Foundation's eligible $100K for 100 Sustaining Grant Program. This fall, the foundation will announce the 30 nonprofits selected to receive 10-year awards ranging from $200,000 to $500,000 each.

"We're extremely grateful," continued Flaherty. "We're still trying to raise money (for the project). It has been difficult during this COVID situation. We're looking at finishing the capital phase fundraising this summer. We've raised $20 million so far through grants and individual donors. Now we're at the last stage of our fundraising process. We're trying to raise $2 million for the remainder of the capital campaign."

YMCA of the North Shore plans to have the new, 65,000-foot facility open in January. Windover Construction of Beverly began work in February and is expected to finish in December. The $32 million project is primarily being paid for through fundraising efforts, contributions from members, grants from foundations and tax credits. Flaherty said the project is on schedule and on budget. 

The new Cape Ann YMCA is being built to serve 15,000 residents. It will feature over 330 parking spaces, a Health and Wellness Center, an expanded gymnasium with multiple basketball courts, an 8-lane indoor pool, an outdoor playground and splash park, a "Kid’s Club" babysitting space, an intergenerational center, community cafe/lounge and a dedicated physical therapy space in collaboration with Addison Gilbert Hospital. An Early Learning Center will also be built on campus to provide affordable education for up to 76 infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.

Approximately 4,700 residents from Gloucester, Rockport, Essex, and Manchester utilize the current Cape Ann YMCA building on Middle Street. According to YMCA of the North Shore, its high enrollment rate has the aging building "bursting at the seams."

"The building is outdated and lacks parking and accessibility features in addition to its limited program space," reads a statement sent out by the nonprofit organization. "The new state-of-the-art facility located at 7 Gloucester Crossing Road, the site of the former Fuller School at Blackburn Circle, will be easily accessible to all Cape Ann communities."

After seven years of planning and fundraising, Flaherty said this new facility will have a significant impact on Cape Ann.

"This new project will transform the community," he said. "It will provide Cape Ann the community center we currently lack." 

In a prepared statement, YMCA of the North Shore President and CEO Christopher Lovasco said the new building will double the YMCA's impact in Cape Ann.

"Now, more than ever, people are looking forward to being back together again in our Ys where they can stay active, engaged, and healthy," the statement continues, "and the new Cape Ann Y will be an incredible resource for doing just that.”  

Michael Cronin may be contacted at 978-675-2708, or mcronin@gloucestertimes.com.

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