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Southern District Y planning $3.5m facility in Exeter

Union Leader Correspondent

January 22. 2014 9:34PM

EXETER — The Southern District YMCA is moving ahead with plans to build a $3.5 million facility in Exeter and has teamed with Jewett Construction Inc. of Raymond for the project.

A volunteer YMCA facility committee is working with Jewett Construction to design the new building, which will be located on the site of the former Exeter Junior High School at 56 Linden St.

“We’re pleased to be on board for such an exciting project. A community-based facility like this will benefit generations to come,” Craig Jewett, president of Jewett Construction, said in a press release announcing the partnership.

The first phase of the project calls for the construction of a 30,000-square-foot building that will include a cardio and weight room, group fitness studios, an indoor track, a full-court gymnasium, a multi-purpose community room, locker rooms and space where children can be cared for while parents use the facility.

Rob McGregor, executive director of Southern District YMCA, said he was pleased Jewett Construction was selected and is confident in the firm’s experience to build a facility “where everyone is comfortable.”

Jewett has a history of building facilities for New Hampshire nonprofits, including the Boy Scouts of America — a project for which Jewett helped raise money — and the historic renovation of the nonprofit America’s Credit Union Museum in Manchester.

The YMCA has budgeted $3.5 million for the construction, but the nonprofit organization has not yet announced how much money it has raised for the project.

Rhonda Bernstein, development director for the Southern District YMCA, said Wednesday that Jewett was given a budget of $3.5 million and is designing the building based on that figure. She would not provide fundraising totals to date, saying only that the YMCA is still raising money.

“We hope it will cost less. I know ($3.5 million) is the budget that we asked them to work with,” Bernstein said.

The Exeter Area New Car Dealers Association announced last August that it would give a $250,000 donation after the YMCA kicked off its capital campaign.While the focus is on building the main facility, a second phase of the project will add an aquatic center featuring a lap pool and a warm-water therapy pool.

That phase is estimated to cost around $2 million.

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