Y members needn’t shift to Merrimack during build

NASHUA – Members who used the YMCA on Prospect Street won’t have to switch to Merrimack, even temporarily, while a new facility is built.

Officials from the YMCA of Greater Nashua announced that the organization has struck an agreement with Southern New Hampshire Medical Center that will allow members to continue working out at 17 Prospect St.

A new Nashua facility is tentatively scheduled to open in the fall of 2010.

In November, YMCA and Southern New Hampshire Medical Center officials announced the longtime Prospect Street site would be sold to the hospital for $4.5 million. The hospital plans to renovate the 50,000-square-foot building to host medical offices.

Then, in January, the city of Nashua swapped parcels off of Riverside Street with Pratt Homes, which provides housing to disabled residents. The trade will allow Pratt Homes to expand, and the city to lease land to the YMCA for a new facility.

Because the site lies near both Stellos Stadium and the Conway Ice Arena, city officials said the addition of a YMCA would create a sports complex near Exit 5 off Route 3. The new YMCA would include a swimming pool that could be used by swim teams from the two nearby public high schools.

Originally, members who used the Prospect Street facility were invited to work out at the Merrimack YMCA until the new Nashua site opened. Last week’s agreement means that members don’t have to make that temporary switch.

The YMCA of Greater Nashua plans to break ground on the new 40,000-square-foot facility around Sept 1. Construction will last approximately one year, and a grand opening is tentatively planned for the early fall of 2010.

The hospital has been “generous” in allowing the YMCA to stay open to next summer, said Joe Manzoli, executive director of the YMCA of Greater Nashua.