Woodfords Family Services has bought the former Kennebec Valley YMCA at 40 Granite Hill Road in Manchester. Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal, file

MANCHESTER — When the former Kennebec Valley YMCA facility at 40 Granite Hill Road was listed for sale last year, Woodfords Family Services was not exactly in the market for a new building.

Officials at the Westbrook-based organization knew the demand for its clinical, behavioral health and educational programs for children, youth and adults was great in central Maine, and had considered expanding services there as part of its strategic plan.

But no firm expansion plan was in place, according to Kerry de Bree, Woodfords’ director of development and strategic initiatives.

“We weren’t actively looking for real estate when this opportunity presented itself,” de Bree said. “It’s been a long-term goal to expand.”

Because it was not clear another such property could be found, the organization opted to accelerate its expansion plans and buy the building. Planning is now underway for how the space will be used.

“There are significant waiting lists for clinical and behavioral health services statewide, but particularly in central Maine, so the demand for services is definitely there,” de Bree said. “The staffing is really the biggest barrier to being able to provide services to individuals coming off the wait list, whether it’s case management or a behavioral health program or a variety of other programs.”


Planning and renovations are expected to take between a year and 15 months. In the meantime, the organization’s existing Manchester facility will remain in operation.

Once the new building is renovated, de Bree said, the programs offered there will be similar to the clinical, behavioral health and school-based and training programs it runs elsewhere.

“We are thrilled to have sold the building to a fellow organization that is creating a much-needed space for the community,” Ranae L’Italien, CEO for the Kennebec Valley YMCA, which is in Augusta, said at the time of the sale. “This partnership marks a great opportunity for both organizations to better serve the Kennebec Valley Community.”

Officials at the Kennebec Valley YMCA said they reached the decision to close the Manchester facility after months of deliberation. Its closure was scheduled for Sept. 30.

The COVID-19 pandemic, declared in March 2020, resulted in the loss of 60% of the organization’s membership after gyms were required to close or reduce their operations under emergency public health regulations. Demand for the services at the Manchester facility did not return as restrictions eased, and the Kennebec Valley YMCA did not have the financial resources to keep the satellite facility going.

MaineGeneral Health now leases space on the campus to provide outpatient occupational therapy, physical therapy and sports medicine. The lease remains in place and no decisions have been made about the use of the space, de Bree said.

The sale was brokered by The Boulos Co. The purchase price was not disclosed.

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