HAGUE — Construction of a new, 43,000-square-foot conference center, dining hall and lodging building at Silver Bay YMCA is wrapping up, with a ribbon cutting scheduled for Friday.
Steve Tamm, the YMCA’s chief executive officer, said the dining hall has already opened and is serving meals, and he hopes the conference center and 22 rooms will be completely finished by Labor Day at the latest.
Tamm said this is one of three YMCAs across the country to have a conference center.
The building, called the William Boyd Center, cost between $13 million and $13.5 million to build, and it replaced an existing dining hall demolished last summer. Tamm said the building is named after a past YMCA leader and the great-grandfather of Virginia Rowan Smith. Smith donated about one third of the funds for the project.
“There’s a lot of excitement,” Tamm said, walking around the construction site Tuesday. “... It’s the biggest project we have had here probably since we started over 100 years ago.”
The building stands next to the YMCA’s inn, which was built in 1899.
The dining hall serves between 600 and 700 meals, three times a day, Tamm said. Upstairs, the conference center will hold between 400 and 450 guests. It’s also the first building on the campus that will be completely air-conditioned.
The entire project, Tamm estimates, has pumped more than $20 million into the area. More than 20 different North Country contractors worked on the site, led by the Albany construction company Consigli, and local artisans have also been brought in for design and decor.
“It shows you the impact a nonprofit can have,” Tamm added.
He’s also hoping the center will be a big part of the YMCA’s effort to become a more year-round facility, hosting larger groups and meetings. It will also be an opportunity for more young people to hold year-round jobs, which he hopes will keep them in the region, he added.
Outside the building, contractors will be installing a patio area with greenery. Contractors have also incorporated stormwater best management practices, including what’s called a green roof system. For example, different plants have been placed underneath the building’s roof to catch rainwater and filter out any nutrients.
Permeable pavement has also been installed in some areas to help absorb water and keep it from running off into the lake without any groundwater filtration. The Lake George Park Commission also worked with the YMCA to design a constructed wetland. That will be located near the edge of Lake George.
At 3 p.m. Friday, the Silver Bay YMCA will hold a ribbon-cutting for the new building. State Sen. Elizabeth Little, R-Queensbury, and Assemblyman Dan Stec, R-Queensbury, are expected to be in attendance.