Education Restoration/Renovation

Kaplan Completes Greater Lowell YMCA Renovation

Greater Lowell YMCA community annex addition / Photo by Gregg Shuppe

Boston – Kaplan Construction, a WBE general contractor and construction management firm providing comprehensive building programs across Greater Boston, announced it has completed interior and exterior renovations and an addition to the Greater Lowell YMCA located at 35 YMCA Drive in Lowell, Mass.

Kaplan gutted approximately a third of the existing 45,000sf building to update the YMCA for members, children, and staff and increase capacity by 50%. New floors, walls, windows, and lighting frame the modernized space, which features three state-of-the-art preschool classrooms with dedicated toilet rooms, serving 60 children ages 2.9 to 5 years. A second entrance with separate access controls was built, offering families and staff increased security.

Kaplan also fit out a 26-station computer lab, active science room, and a common room with individual boys’ and girls’ bathrooms for school-age children. In addition, administrative areas received a facelift, featuring three new offices and a conference room for staff members.

A new 1,400sf one-story addition was attached to the rear of the existing building to create supplementary classroom space. Known as the Community Annex, the addition was designed by Bargmann Hendrie  + Archetype (BH+A+) to distinguish itself from the existing 1974 YMCA building. While the existing building is capped with flat roofs and clad in a monochrome masonry exterior, the addition is clad in brightly-colored fiber cement panels and corrugated metal panels, reflecting the playful environment inside.

Kaplan reconfigured the footprint of the existing locker core to create four new locker rooms for boys, girls, families, and women. The men’s locker received a new sauna, and a new pool viewing room was constructed to facilitate swim meets and lessons.

Outside, Kaplan installed all new vinyl siding and created a 2,000sf playground adjacent to the addition, featuring an asphalt track, play structure, and a cantilevered shade canopy. The playground is enclosed in precast curbing with new concrete sidewalks leading to the addition’s new entrance.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the building was partially closed to the public for much of the project. The restricted use provided Kaplan unfettered access, facilitating the installation of the new fire protection service and new ceilings throughout the building.

The project team members for this project include construction manager, Kaplan Construction; architect, Bargmann Hendrie + Archetype (BH+A); owner’s representative, Feldman Development Partners; structural engineer, Bolton & DiMartino; MEP/FP engineer, Allied Consulting; civil engineer, Andover Consultants; and landscape architect, Kyle Zick Landscape Architecture.

“We could not have asked for a better partner than Kaplan Construction,” said Kevin Morrissey, CEO at Greater Lowell YMCA. “Their extensive experience with new construction and renovations for childcare centers was one of the main reasons we selected them for our project. They understand our mission and share our values. We are thrilled with our new and improved center and so proud to share it with our community.”

The renovation marks Kaplan’s third YMCA project in the Merrimack Valley area. Between 2016 and 2019, Kaplan renovated approximately 12,000sf of the Merrimack Valley YMCA in Lawrence to allow for the relocation and expansion of its preschool and childcare programs, as well as the renovation of 5,000sf of locker rooms, storage, and office space.