YMCA builds new access road
GREENFIELD — Preparation work for a $60 million courthouse reconstruction has begun with the creation of a new entry road between the YMCA’s upper and lower parking lots.
YMCA Executive Director Robert Sunderland said the state is paying for and doing the work, but the YMCA will benefit.
“The state doesn’t want Y members driving through the courthouse parking lot, so it is building a new easement road to our lot.
Sunderland said YMCA members will have to use the entry just south of the courthouse parking lot that leads to the municipal lot there. From that road, drivers will be able to drive to the YMCA’s upper or lower lot.
“We didn’t have a choice in the matter,” said Sunderland.
He said he has been told that the state will erect a construction fence between the YMCA and courthouse parking lots once the easement road is built.
Sunderland said the YMCA has 83 parking spots in its lower lot and 25 in its upper lot. He said with the courthouse construction and completion of the easement road, the YMCA will actually lose seven to eight spaces in its lower lot.
“Parking is already a big challenge for Y members and others,” said Sunderland. “We’ll just have to see what’s going to happen. This is proof, though, that the town needs a parking garage and that it should be a priority.”
Sunderland said the town has said that the municipal lot that is adjacent to the YMCA’s upper lot will be free starting at 5 p.m. when the courthouse reconstruction begins.
“That will give people another option,” said Sunderland.
He said he is concerned about what will happen when the reconstruction is complete in three or four years.
“The building is going to be bigger and is going to occupy the courthouse parking lot,” said Sunderland. “There are going to be even more courthouse employees, but parking is going to be gone. That will be very interesting.”
Sunderland said YMCA members already complain about parking, especially along the eastern side of Main Street.
“I do want people to realize that the Y is not doing any of this work,” said Sunderland. “I’ve heard people complain about the 20 trees that had to be cut down to create the easement road. That wasn’t us.”
Sunderland said the easement road should be open soon.