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Image: Submitted/YMCA of Greater Saint John

$3.5M expansion of YMCA Glenn Carpenter Centre underway

By Brad Perry Apr 12, 2023 | 5:47 AM

The YMCA Glenn Carpenter Centre in Saint John is aiming to become a year-round facility.

Work is currently underway on a $3.5-million project to expand the centre and its offerings.

Members of Saint John council’s growth committee learned more about the project on Tuesday.

“We’d like to see 5,000 people using our facility on an annual basis versus the 1,000 children that we see out there today,” said Shilo Boucher, president and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Saint John.

Located along Ashburn Lake, the facility currently only operates 10 weeks a year for summer day camps, she said.

But the expansion project, which is being done in three phases, will allow them to open their doors all year long.

“There is an opportunity for us to do more to support kids and families,” said Boucher.

One of the biggest aspects of the expansion is a new $2.3-million multi-purpose building, allowing the YMCA to add an outdoor after-school program which will serve 90 kids.

The centre currently has a main lodge on site, but Boucher said it was only designed to be used in the summer months.

Having additional after-school spaces at the Glenn Carpenter means the YMCA will be able to open more child-care spaces at its Millidgeville Community Centre, said Boucher.

“There’s a huge need for child care right now, I think you probably all know that.” she said.

Boucher said the new building will also allow them to expand their summer day camps to 1,500 campers per year. In 2022, the organization reached its target of having 1,100 campers.

The YMCA also wants to offer more community programming at the Glenn Carpenter Centre, such as corporate events, courses, member programs, weekend events and off-season programming.

The expansion plan also includes a new field, ropes course, climbing wall, camp sites and program upgrades.

Phase one work has already been completed, such as a new road and parking lot, and upgrades to the existing lodge.

The new building is expected to be completed in 2024, with updated programming rolling out in 2024 and 2025.

“We’ve raised money already from government and some of our foundations and some of our private donors and we’re just getting started,” said Boucher.

Nearly $2 million has been raised so far, including $450,000 from foundations, $160,000 from government and $100,000 from private donors. Another $1.25 million has been committed by the YMCA.

Boucher’s presentation to council also included a $125,000 ask from the City of Saint John for the project.

That request will go to the city’s chief administrative officer and will be considered as part of the 2024 budget deliberations.


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