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February 25. 2014 5:44PM

New name

Greater Manchester YMCA outgrows name


Hal Jordan, president and CEO of the YMCA, interacts with kids from the Beech Street School at the Y's after-school program in Manchester on Tuesday. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)

MANCHESTER — YMCA of Greater Manchester is getting a new name after expanding its service area over the years to stretch roughly from New Boston to New Castle.

"We've grown far beyond the walls of greater Manchester," President and CEO Hal Jordan said Tuesday while touring the downtown Manchester location.

The new name — The Granite YMCA — more accurately reflects the consolidation of more YMCA locations into the Greater Manchester operations, he said.

"It's so much more efficient than running separate Y's," Jordan said.

Efficiencies in business operations, he said, saves more than $100,000 annually. The name change makes it easier to market the organization and attract new members, he said.

The umbrella organization has 25,000 members at five facilities and serves 35,000 people when counting those enrolled in child care and summer camp. The budget was nearly $12 million for the last full fiscal year, which ended last May 31.

Mayor Ted Gatsas calls the YMCA "the fabric of our community" and helps serve many in the community.

In late 2011, the YMCA of Greater Manchester absorbed the YMCA of the Seacoast after merging with the YMCA of Strafford County in 1998.

"It was a significant risk for us because they were underwater financially," Jordan said.

The Strafford County location moved to a new building in January 2012.

After the merger, the combined Y organization had 395 members as of January 2012. Two years later, that had grown by 44 workers.

"That really is indicative of how fast the Y is growing," Jordan said.

He said it's becoming a national trend of merging locations.

A membership for a family of four ranges from $38 to $72 a month, depending on the family's income.

The Downtown Y is the 27th oldest YMCA in the country, dating back to 1854. The Portsmouth Y is the fifth oldest, founded in 1852.

The other facilities are the YMCA Allard Center in Goffstown and the YMCA of Greater Londonderry.

"Each branch has its own name" that will be retained, Jordan said.

About 80 percent of its revenues come from membership and program fees. The rest come from contributions and grants.

He said the YMCA doesn't target the same clientele as area gyms.

"We can't compete with the $10-a-month gyms," Jordan said. "It's all about serving the kids and families."

Last year, the Granite YMCA provided financial help and/or free services to 18,773 people worth $1.6 million.

mcousineau@unionleader.com


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