Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Last updated: November 9, 2012
We anticipate questions from the community about the YMCA Exeter project. We have created this FAQ to help respond to questions as they arise. If you have a question that is not answered here, please email us at YMCAexeter@sdymca.org.
What are the plans for a YMCA in Exeter?
The Y is a community-based association of people committed to nurturing the potential of youth, promoting healthy lifestyles, and fostering social responsibility to ensure that every individual has access to the essential resources needed to learn, grow and thrive. The Southern District YMCA/Camp Lincoln has been serving the needs of the local community since 1926 and is committed to doing so into the future. The form in which the Southern District YMCA delivers new programs and activities, and fulfills its historic mission of community service, will be greatly determined by financial support from the community.
The Southern District YMCA is committed to leading the charge in developing a new Y facility that the community can afford to build and operate in a fiscally responsible and sustainable manner. This commitment is why the Board of Directors recently voted to proceed with the purchase and sale of the property at 56 Linden Street and to implement a plan to remove the old building and to introduce a new YMCA facility, constructed in phases as funds are secured.
Why does the community need a YMCA?
America is in a health crisis so severe that for the first time in memory, this generation of children could face a lower life expectancy than their parents. Children who develop healthy exercise and eating habits are more likely to lead healthy lifestyles in adulthood. The entire community must collectively address this crisis. The YMCA's mission is dedicated to building a healthy spirit, mind and body for all. The Y has the knowledge, expertise and reach to proactively address our health crisis and is dedicated to making healthy living a reality for all Exeter area residents.
Based on 8 community needs assessments since 2002, it is clear that a wide variety of youth, family and adult wellness programs do not currently exist. A community gathering place based on healthy living is needed. The YMCA has determined that in order to facilitate these efforts, a full facility Y is necessary. Demographic data indicates that Exeter is the ideal location as 80,000 individuals live within a 7 mile radius of downtown. The decision to build is longstanding, ongoing and based on a wide range of sound Y principles and research.
- Market Demand and Revenue Analysis – Demographic data has been analyzed based on census data, demand rate analysis, membership/program projections and overall revenue.
- Economic Factors – The probable acquisition costs to secure the property and carry out the necessary site improvements have been rigorously analyzed. A conservative pro-forma budget forecasting model has been designed in partnership with Y-USA to ensure the economic viability of a community based YMCA.
- Fundraising and Organizational Advancement – In partnership with YMCA leaders, the plan has been scrutinized to determine funds can be secured for the project.
How were the needs of the facility determined?
Based on YMCA best practices, a design team led by Daxko T2 (the foremost YMCA architectural firm) along with community input through focus groups and surveys, a design was outlined and brought to the YMCA Facilities Task Force. This group finalized the plan and the architects determined the size and scope based on experiences with other similar YMCAs.
Will this be a “green design”?
The term “green design” has many meanings. The YMCA will embrace the following design, construction and facility operation philosophy:
- Creating a Sustainable Site – There will be an emphasis on good stewardship of the land, taking care to minimize adverse impacts on surrounding areas during and after construction. There will be a commitment to reduce site disturbance, as well as storm water management and reducing/minimizing light pollution.
- Water Efficiency - The thoughtful use of water through building and landscape designs that will reduce the use of potable water for irrigation, waste water and ongoing water conservation strategies in the building.
- Energy and Atmosphere - The building systems will operate according to their designs and specifications that optimize energy performance that eliminate the use of CFC-based (Chlorinated Fluorocarbon) refrigerants in ventilating, air conditioning and refrigerating. Use of renewable energy generated onsite will be encouraged and long term continuous measurement and verification of building performance will be incorporated into the operating model.
- Materials and Resources - The collection and storage of recyclables will be provided for in the building design and operations. The use of recycled materials, locally manufactured environmentally responsible materials and certified wood product will be encouraged and a construction waste management plan will be implemented.
- Indoor Environmental Quality - The new Y will incorporate optimal lighting, thermal comfort and healthy indoor air quality for occupants, as well as, minimum IAQ performance standard, carbon dioxide monitoring, increased ventilation effectiveness and indoor air quality management. The plan is to include the use of low emitting materials, coatings, paints and finishes.
What is LEED and will this be a LEED certified building?
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (otherwise known as LEED) is a green building rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) to provide a suite of standards for environmentally sustainable construction. LEED certified buildings promote sustainable design and are primarily designed by a LEED AP who has been certified through the USGBC.
The YMCA facility will be constructed in the spirit of LEED, adhering to LEED standards. At this time, however, it is not yet known whether the costs associated with this expensive certification is in the organization's financial plan.
What is the anticipated size and scope of project?
Based on YMCA best practices, a design team led by Daxko T2 (YMCA's architectural firm), and the community needs assessments, Phase I of the project includes the following program space:
|Indoor track||Multi-purpose space||Wellness/fitness center|
|Group exercise studio||Gym||Babysitting|
|Comfortable Lobby||Offices||Community meeting space|
|Individual locker rooms||Family locker rooms|
The community has waited patiently for a YMCA/community center and in order to deliver and be responsive, the Y anticipates phasing the project. Once funding is secure for Phase I, the focus will become Phase II with a 25 yard lap pool, a warm/therapy pool, expanded wellness and larger family locker rooms. While the YMCA has identified all the needs, we will only build a facility that the community can afford to support and that the Y can operate within a fiscally responsible business model.
What is the cost of the project and how will it be paid for?
The Southern District YMCA is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization consisting of a lean, highly qualified staff and hundreds of volunteers. A YMCA facility in Exeter will operate under the same leadership that has brought the region 15 before-and after-school care locations, decades of incredible summer day camp, and year-round outdoor education and teen leadership programs at Camp Lincoln. A 12-member volunteer Board of Directors sets policy and oversees fiscal management.
Southern District YMCA has secured the funding for Phase I of the YMCA in Exeter that includes the property purchase, abatement (removal of asbestos), demolition, and site preparation. These Phase I funds are the result of nearly a decade of strategic planning and responsible fiscal and operational management.
The cost of Phase II of the project includes architectural and engineering costs, design, permitting fees, and construction. A Finance Committee, formed of leading community volunteers, will set projections for the source of this money. Funding sources include:
- individual pledges
- corporate sponsorship
- foundation grants
- government funds
- philanthropic organization support
When will the YMCA be built and what is the project timeline?
The answer is simple...the YMCA will be built when the funds are raised. Donors want to see stewardship of funds, a clear and unambiguous timeline, and follow-through on a promise. Trust and transparency are essential ingredients for a successful campaign. The YMCA has developed a transparent process to outline benchmarks and to ensure that gifts are used for their intended purpose. The YMCA has grown and prospered internationally for nearly 170 years because of their mission and integrity. The local Southern District YMCA is an organization built by and for the community, with a YMCA-of-the-USA charter.
The following timeline presents the past and future benchmarks:
- March 2012 - The YMCA and Squamscott Community Commons entered into a Purchase & Sale Agreement for the 56 Linden St. property.
- May 2012 – Daxko T2 architect completed the schematic site plans, floor plans and related design.
- June 2012 – A site plan was submitted to the Town of Exeter Planning Board for Site Plan Review.
- June 2012 - Donor by Design, a fundraising firm that specializes in YMCAs, concluded a feasibility study.
- July 2012 - A comprehensive operating budget, in coordination with Y-USA, was developed.
- August 2012 – Southern District YMCA Board of Directors approved the capital campaign.
- August 2012 – Southern District YMCA met with Exeter's Planning Board to review the Site Plan.
- September 2012 – The Planning Board approves Site Plan in a public hearing.
- September 2012 – Southern District YMCA finalized ownership of the 56 Linden S.t property.
- December 2012 – Southern District YMCA will begin demolition of the former Exeter AREA Junior High School.
- January 2013– Southern District YMCA will begin the capital campaign to raise funds for the new YMCA Exeter Project.
- February 2013 - The demolition of the former Exeter Area Junior High School is scheduled to be complete.
- 2013- When 100% of fundraising is secured for Phase I, the construction of the new YMCA Exeter will begin, lasting approximately 9-12 months.
What can I do to help the project move forward?
There a many ways that you can help, including making your own generous contribution to the campaign, helping us to identify additional donors, sharing your personal Y story, volunteering and advocating for this important project in the community. Contact us at the Southern District YMCA at YMCAexeter@sdymca.org.
Where can I find the latest news about the new Y?
The Southern District YMCA/Camp Lincoln website, www.sdymca.org, features the latest news about our campaign in the “YMCA Exeter Project” section, as well as information about ongoing programs, activities and special events. You will find links on the home page to our monthly e-newsletter, Facebook page, as well as links to recent news from other local media. To keep current of the Exeter YMCA project as well as other relevant Y community happenings, follow the Southern District YMCA blog. The Y also distributes a quarterly program update and strives to keep members and the public informed of Y events and activities. If you would like to receive electronic updates in your inbox, please send an email to YMCAexeter@sdymca.org with ‘YMCA Exeter Project updates request'.