TIM SMITH/BRANDON SUN
Lon Cullen, CEO of the YMCA of Brandon, displays items from a time capsule entombed in a wall at the site of the former Brandon YMCA facility in 1966, while at his office in the new Dood Cristall Family YMCA recently. Among the items in the capsule were coins, YMCA literature and a copy of the Brandon Sun.
Just before the old YMCA building comes crashing down, a time capsule with artifacts from when it was built in 1966 was recently revealed.
A pristine copy of the Brandon Sun from the day, some Canadian silver coins and a copy of the capital plans were inside the small metal box, which was opened by the board of directors recently.
"It was the centre of the community at the time," said CEO Lon Cullen. "And that was a big factor for us for the new one, was to be the centre of the community."
Budget documents were also stored away in the box, showing just how much construction costs have changed.
"The old building was built for over a million dollars, the new one was slightly more," Cullen quipped.
The new building costs are around $18 million.
When the Dood Cristall Family YMCA opened in August 2013, management was expecting the old building to be levelled in three to four months. But various complications, including dealing with asbestos, delayed work.
The YMCA isn’t on the hook for any additional costs, according to Cullen, and passers-by on Princess Ave. will see substantial demolition beginning today.
"We knew there was asbestos," Cullen said, "but it took a little longer than anticipated to get it out of there."
Recyclables from the old building, including metals and glass, have been torn out and sorted through, which also made the process more time consuming.
Cullen said it will be another month to six weeks before the site is flattened, at which point the Y’s landscaping and parking plans can come to fruition.
Part of the plan is to add 70 to 100 parking spaces and safe drop zones for children and buses which are desperately needed, since accessible buses have to park at the corner of Seventh and Princess and people are forced to walk around the building to the get to the entrance.
The area where the old building is now will also include green space, public seating and half-court basketball to "complement" Princess Park, Cullen said, costing about $250,000, and should be completed by the end of summer.
Since the new building opened six months ago, Cullen said management was battling with some minor issues, including heating, cooling and a pump failure in the pool, but most kinks have long been ironed out.
Rates for existing members will be held until August. Fees will be increased to match inflation, Cullen said, "but your goal is to make it as affordable as we can, but there will be modest increases."
Fee increases will be figured out closer to the end of their fiscal year in August.
The number of memberships have gone up substantially since the new building opened its doors to 4,600 from 2,600.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition March 3, 2014