ACCORDING TO DIRECTOR SABRINA MURPHY, the Bath Area Family YMCA was hesitant about moving forward at first, considering the amount of work the building at Brunswick Landing needed. It was the vision of Tom Wright from Seeds of Independence, who offered to help renovate the space, that reassured Murphy.

ACCORDING TO DIRECTOR SABRINA MURPHY, the Bath Area Family YMCA was hesitant about moving forward at first, considering the amount of work the building at Brunswick Landing needed. It was the vision of Tom Wright from Seeds of Independence, who offered to help renovate the space, that reassured Murphy.

BRUNSWICK

Following an extensive renovation and a lease commitment by the Bath Area Family YMCA for the former Navy fitness center, the new Y finally celebrated its grand opening Tuesday. Bath director Sabrina Murphy said she is glad to see it all come together.

“This has been a long time in the making,” Murphy said standing in the bustling new center.

Murphy said the YMCA did some long-range planning as well as some focus groups in the community. Through the process, Murphy said they looked at the community needs, paired with growth in already established programs and determined there was a need for increased health and wellness programs.

“We currently run several youth programs in this particular community. We have a before and after school program at Coffin School and we have Freedom Tour programs that we run in three schools for kids coming out of the eighth grade,” Murphy said.

The Freedom Tour takes eighth graders from Bath, Brunswick and Mt. Ararat to places like New York City, Philadelphia and Gettysburg to visit museums and memorials.

“Some of the current programs we had were expanding and growing, and then on top of that we were growing our membership base from the Midcoast area. So, the opportunity presented itself for us to be able to utilize this former gymnasium that was part of the Navy,” Murphy said.

According to Murphy, the YMCA was hesitant about moving forward at first, considering the amount of work the building needed. It was the vision of Tom Wright from Seeds of Independence, who offered to help renovate the space, that reassured Murphy.

“He has great vision and great experience when he was with Wright-Ryan Construction (as) he built several Ys in the state, including ours. It’s a great partnership. In the meantime, there were some particular enhanced needs from the Navy personnel,” Murphy said.

Another piece of good news for the new Y location is that the Navy will still be utilizing the space. Murphy said the YMCA has a partnership with the armed services through a program called Military One Source. The program pays military memberships, and personnel, like those assigned to the Zumwalt, Peralta and Monsoor, can have a place for physical training. It’s not much of a distance to travel either — Murphy said many of the 400 crew attached to the area and their families live behind the former fitness center in the old military housing.

Another program the Y is operating partners with Midcoast- Parkview Health. Murphy said they are trying to offer more classes and programs to keep patients healthy. One such program is pre and post-operative workout programs.

“One of the things that’s our best example for that is we have a Livestrong class that we do that’s free for the community and it’s for cancer survivors. We take cancer survivors whether they’re in the middle of treatment or several years out and we take them through a 12-week program and get them back into being healthy,” Murphy said.

Taking a tour, the old racquetball courts are shuttered but bright, new spaces are open, including yoga studios where there will be both adult and children’s classes, dance space and a large gym floor that accommodates up to three pickle ball courts.

Murphy said the building suits their needs and the three focus areas of the YMCA: healthy living, youth development and social responsibility.

Brunswick Landing Director Charlie Ault said it has all been an incredible experience, beginning with a gala celebration Friday evening followed by an open house. He said the doors opened bright and early Tuesday at 6:15 a.m. for Navy PT.

“It’s great to see some smiling faces — especially the group from the Peralta. They came in and used the gym this morning and they haven’t been here for two and a half weeks and they were just truly amazed — smiles everywhere,” Ault said.

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