The Bayside YMCA in Barrington faces a new 12-week financial challenge.
Jim Berson, CEO and president of the Greater Providence YMCA, which owns the local facility, laid out that challenge on Thursday morning, Feb. 7, during an abbreviated tour of the new wing under construction.
“We have received a quarter-million dollar challenge gift,” Berson said. “And it’s time-sensitive. We need to make a quarter-million dollar match by May 1.”
The challenge gift came from a group of YMCA supporters, he said. Now it’s up to the Bayside YMCA to match it with gifts and pledges of $2,500 or more.
“We cannot do this without the community,” he said. “We must raise this so the next generation can take advantage of this facility.”
Bayside YMCA Executive Director Joe Martino has been the chief cheerleader for the project, he said.
“He is trying to open a jar with a lid turned on tight,” Berson said. “We have that jar lid almost off. Now it is up to us to finish the job.”
Barrington Sen. David Bates announced that he has applied for a legislative grant to help the YMCA meet its goal.
Approximately 15 to 20 people wearing white, blue and red hard hats stood in a future corridor of the new wing to hear Berson’s announcement. They had to duck under a tarp to get inside. A construction-size space heater pumped heated air to warm the corridor.
An actual tour of the facility that is about 56 percent complete was not possible, said Martino, because seven or eight different trade union workers were on the job there Thursday. The contractor, New England Construction, said it would be too difficult to walk through the building.
Martino said: “Things are going smoothly. We’re on time and on budget.”
He estimated that construction would finish in August – “a little sooner than we thought.”
The only date that mattered on Thursday morning was May 1 – the deadline for coming up with $250,000 to match the $250,000 challenge gift. It would help to finish the capital campaign for the new addition.