The move clears the way for the YMCA and Northeastern to build a 17-story dorm and comes after Y residents sought to block the move by asking the city Landmarks Commission the building with the blinking logo a landmark, the Huntington News reports.
Too bad. Hopefully Northeastern will make an effort to incorporate the historical facade into the design of the new luxury dorms.
The main building isn't be touched. Only the decrepit gym in the back. The YMCA will be using $20 million from the sale of that part of the complex to completely rehabilitate and reconfigure the branch for the 21st century needs of it's membership.
Downsizing makes all the sense in the world for the Huntington Branch. For the last 30 years most of the complex has been derelict and a maintenance burden on the YMCA. The sale of part of the complex will provide the influx of cash necessary to bring the branch back to a high standard of service, while getting rid of a massive financial burden. The complex was far too large for the current level of membership and couldn't be fully utilized anymore, much less properly maintained.
Locking students up on campus and keeping them out of the rental market is an added bonus. I don't really see "luxury" in dorms that look like a cheap hotels or housing projects either.
$20M is not nearly enough to do these things, unless you know a contractor that will give you a 21st century upgrade for 1970s prices.
It has most certainly has been a maintenance burden, but that is due to poor fundraising and planning on the part of the Y. If you need a new roof you don't raze the whole house.
And good luck raising the additional money needed to "rehabilitate and reconfigure the branch for the 21st century needs of it's membership." The membership is pretty pissed. Though in pretty sad shape, the basketball court, pool and other parts of the Johnson building were in constant use. $20M might be able to provide the disgruntled membership with the finest fitness center that a Sheraton in sticks can provide.
The worst part of all this is that it will not even address the root problem at Northeastern. It grew from a commuter school to the school it is today without considering how they would house the increased student body. Additionally, their growth came at the expense of growing an endowment that would help them keep student costs down. Many students avoid living on campus not due to lack of space but because they can live more cheaply off campus (without the on campus rules to boot). And what is to keep Northeastern from increasing enrollment?
Northeastern has FEWER students enrolled than they did when they were a commuter school.
They can't increase their enrollment without hurting their US News and World Report ranking. Something which the university is deathly scared of hurting.
Since when is $20 million something to sneeze at? There were no dollars before this deal. Having this significant sum and less derelict property to maintain is going to put the Y on better financial footing than it was previously.
If the YMCA hadn't done this, then ten years down the road what do you think would happen to a decaying over-sized and under utilized money pit of a branch? It would be closed and then we'd be out a YMCA period.
Northeastern invested their money elsewhere and allowed the city neighborhoods house their students. And as to the rankings, many institutions would just as well chuck them and opt out. They are as much a blessing as a curse. But they may be desperate to cling to the 69 spot they share with UConn, I don't know (Colorado School of Mines is nipping at their heels in spot 72)
True there were no dollars before the deal but if you have to sell your house to get the money to renovate it, you'd already lost. Having worked in fundraising for institutions who have done gym renovations on this scale, I can tell you that 20M is a drop in the bucket for what they would need to replace. And if they spend 20M of the entire 21.5M sale of the building a new space there is not much left in operating funds to maintain it--they will need to raise funds for operating expenses which is hard to do with a happy constituency, let alone one you have just pissed off and whom you have not cultivated well in the first place.
The fact of the matter is that we will be out of a YMCA on Huntington as soon as this goes through. Sad when a child kills its parent.
the image associated with the article suggests they aren't tearing it down, but building next door to it. Does it wipe out a YMCA annex or something? I would seriously hope they wouldn't remove the actual building that fronts Huntington, is beautiful inside and out.