Central Lincoln County YMCA

The facility now known as the Central Lincoln County YMCA embodies an important history in the community dating back to the 1970s. A true community organization, its original structure was built in 1979.  It was a single-space gymnasium contained in a pre-engineered metal building. In 1993, the Central Lincoln County Recreation Center partnered with the YMCA.  Modest additions and improvements took place over the next two decades, as well as a major addition in 2005. This was the Sanford Center, built to house three indoor tennis courts. In 2013, the Board of Directors began in earnest a fundraising campaign to completely overhaul the facility.

In 2014 the CLC Y hired GRO Development, Inc., a YMCA facilities design firm, to assist them in the overall Master Facilities programming and schematic design layout. In addition, they would assist with key marketing information and fund raising material for the engagement of the capital campaign. After a substantial portion of the estimated project cost was funded, 44 North Architects was engaged by the Y in 2016 as the architect of record, with the goal of developing the detailed design and space for programming.

Scope of the project
The $6.8 million project included 14,000sf of new space to house a wellness center, locker and bathroom facility, new entry lobby with reception area, and a multi-function community space that serves group gatherings, including a farmers market during the winter months.  A commercial kitchen adjacent to the multi-function space is managed in partnership with a local organization that educates school children and other generations of the value of healthy, quality foods. The existing building facility received an additional 30,000sf of renovations. These renovations included staff offices, a multi-generation meeting room, a pre-k classroom, three new program rooms, a gymnastics space, and an elevated two-lane track.  The track is a 1/10 mile loop and connects upper level program spaces along with providing exercise stations.

Energy efficiency
The original building was an energy sieve with minimal insulation. A key part of the facility improvement was to improve the thermal envelop of the building. Thermal calculations along with cost analysis proved that by adding an additional layer of high performance insulation to the existing building envelope would yield a pay-off in 5 years. The new building addition was designed to meet or exceed energy code. The thermal efficiency of the building coupled with a high performance electrical heat pump system and high efficiency gas boilers was an imperative consideration to this modern facility. Along with efficient heating, the facility is air-conditioned.

Design Considerations
The building design is an open concept. While the standard layout for YMCA facilities is to have program rooms connected by corridors, the CLC YMCA is at the cutting edge in space programming, a true trend-setter for YMCA facilities. It connects function spaces by utilizing interior windows that allow the users to observe multiple programs simultaneously. For example, a group playing volleyball in the main gymnasium can witness gymnastics taking place in the loft while runners and walkers circle the elevated track. At the same time a spinning class can be seen through an expanse of glazing while an aerobics class is visible in another space.  The effect is a facility that appears to be teeming with activity.

The spaces are filled with natural light, spacious and airy. The colors are vibrant. The modern CLC YMCA is a successful example of a community coming together and building something that better meets the needs of its community. 44 North Architects is proud to have played a key role in this endeavor.

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Damariscotta, ME
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