April 26, 2016
by Steven W. Wallace, Chief Executive Officer
There is a lot of chatter throughout Lewiston and Auburn about the YMCA and where our organization is headed. I want to take this opportunity to offer insight into the projects we are pursuing and why they matter for you, your family and our community.
First, we are considering a move to Bates Mill #5 in partnership with Central Maine Medical Center. Our vision is to create a fully integrated medical health, wellness, and fitness facility. Featuring a state of the art aquatics center, this collaboration would be the first of its kind in Maine, allowing the Y and CMMC to enhance existing programs and offer new, innovative services to address chronic disease.
Everything the Y does in the service of building a better community and a better us.
Moving to Mill #5 will also allow us to expand our child care offerings for children six weeks through 12 years of age.
Both the hospital and the Y must do their due diligence before we can officially say this project is a “go.” In fact, we have been looking into the feasibility of a partnership since July 2014. We have traveled to New Jersey, Indianapolis and Des Moines to see how other YMCA-hospital collaborations function and have found that our plan for Lewiston-Auburn is at the forefront of community wellness.
Second, the Y is moving forward with the development of its 93-acre property on Stetson Road in Auburn. This property will be the site of our new Outdoor Education & Learning Center and eventual home of our summer camp program.
Complete with trails, playing fields and outdoor classrooms, the OELC will give people of all ages an opportunity to engage with nature and get active. Youth will benefit from team-building and leadership development activities while learning about Maine's rich tradition of environmental stewardship.
What ties these projects together are the needs we see throughout Lewiston-Auburn and beyond. Everything the Y does in the service of building a better community and a better us.
Our region's troubling public health data, which I discussed in my last post, tell us we need innovative solutions to address obesity, diabetes, heart disease and other chronic health conditions.
More and more families are moving to Androscoggin County, which means the need for quality child care is growing.
Every child and teen should experience the outdoors and the camaraderie of summer camp — but too many of our kids have never played in the woods, caught a salamander or played in a brook.
These are things that matter. The Y exists to support individuals and families become the best versions of themselves. If any of these efforts speak to you, I encourage you to reach out and get involved. When we come together as a community, great things can happen.
An earlier version of this article was originally published in the Auburn Highlights and Lewiston Leader in March 2016.