YMCA HQ not interested in dorm fight

March 9, 2012
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The YMCA national headquarters has stated it will not get involved in the controversial Northeastern University (NU) dorm project at the Huntington Avenue YMCA, despite Y members’ petition.

“All YMCAs are independent and autonomous. That means they operate separately from each other and from Y national,” YMCA national spokesperson Brad McDermott told the Gazette. “It’s not our decision to make and it’s not our role to tell YMCA Boston what decisions to make.”

Two community meetings were organized by Y members last month in hopes of finding a strategy to stop the GrandMarc at Northeastern project. The Grandmarc would create 720 more on-campus NU beds at 316 Huntington Ave.

Under the proposed plan, developer PPC Land Ventures, Inc. would purchase and demolish the YMCA’s gym, then build a 17-story dorm tower in its place. PPC would then lease the dorm to NU long-term.

Two lawsuits filed against the project are still ongoing in Superior Court. Demolition of the gym cannot begin until the suits are resolved.

David Mynott, a Y member and organizer, told the Gazette that a petition with over 1,000 signatures was sent to YMCA national headquarters in Chicago, Ill.

“One of our [YMCA] members called and was told that each YMCA is autonomous. In other words, they knew about it,” Mynott said. “We can only assume [the project] has national’s blessing.”

The group’s Facebook page is available at on.fb.me/BostonY.

NU did not respond to Gazette calls.

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