Towson Y groundbreaking could be in October

Rendering of the new, $11 million Towson Y. Courtesy Y of Central Maryland. (Courtesy Y of Central Maryland / October 12, 2012)

After a protracted appeals process delayed construction on the new Towson Family Center Y, District Executive Director Bev Landis this week detailed the timetable and construction expectations for the new $11 million building in West Towson.

In a letter to member families, Landis said the construction, which could begin as soon as late October, "will be a fluid process occurring in several stages over about the next year or so."

"Please rest assured we are 100-percent committed to communicating frequently to you so you always know what to expect when," Landis said in the letter. "We are also 100-percent committed to minimizing inconveniences to you, as much as is possible within the context of a large construction project happening around the ongoing operation of our center."

Beginning on Monday, Oct. 22, members and visitors can expect construction trailers and fencing to arrive on site, and the fence around the tennis court will be taken down, according to the letter.

While the main building entrance to the Y will be open until an alternative entrance is established, the driveway off Chesapeake Avenue will be closed until further notice. Members are advised to use Allegheny Avenue.

Because of limited parking space during the construction, Landis asked members to leave spaces closest to the entrance for the Y's older members.

"We regret that these temporary changes will create some inconvenience for our members and guests during the construction period, and we will work hard both to minimize them for you as well as to communicate frequently so that you know what to expect every step of the way," Landis wrote.

Construction was made possible when an appeal — brought by a group of neighbors who opposed the plan — was dropped after negotiations. In exchange for dropping the appeal, alterations were made to the building's appearance and the property's landscaping in order to better obscure the building from residents' view.

The new building will include a saltwater pool, a rock-climbing wall, a large fitness center, a gymnasium, and several multi-purpose rooms.

"The county has limited money, so partnerships with groups like the Y are so important," said 5th District Councilman David Marks, who represents Towson. "I'm happy the issues with the neighborhood are worked out, because this will be a first-class center for the greater Towson community."

Updates during the construction process will be provided at http://wwwtowsonydev.ymaryland.org.