NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. — The former West Bay YMCA in North Kingstown is currently undergoing demolition and renovation to begin its transition into a new healthcare center.
In early June, the nonprofit Ocean State Job Lot Charitable Foundation bought the building that once housed the West Bay YMCA. The goal of the foundation is to complete the renovations and open as soon as possible, according to and Kevin Brochu, director of the upcoming nonprofit, community-based health and wellness center.
The West Bay branch was closed by the YMCA of Greater Providence on April 30 due to fiscal and infrastructure issues.
Once renovated, the center will offer traditional fitness programs and provide individualized, comprehensive health and wellness services.
“Wellness means something different to everyone,” said Brochu. “Our personalized approach will allow us to learn what it means to each member, and help each member reach his or her goals.”
Brochu has been involved in the health and wellness industry for two decades as a writer, lecturer and coach at the high school, college, amateur and professional level in New England. He also worked for Reebok as a senior marketing manager, where he was responsible for global marketing and brand development for numerous fitness and wellness initiatives.
“I am excited to partner with the wonderful folks at Ocean State Job Lot to reopen this vital part of the North Kingstown community,” Brochu said. “We will be offering similar programs that members previously enjoyed at the Y, as well as many new health and wellness offerings in a setting that supports the overall wellbeing of every person who walks through our doors. We want to be the place where everyone feels welcome and comfortable, and empowered to be their best self.”
“Our ability to purchase this building, make a significant investment in the facility, and restore it to a vibrant, community-based organization is a very special opportunity for us, and fits perfectly within our mission,” Marc Perlman, principal owner and CEO of Ocean State Job Lot, said after the initial purchase.
The demolition and construction will continue throughout the week. The building is located at 7540 Post Road.
“We are looking forward to transforming this facility. I think people will be blown away when they see this facility; former members and new members alike. We want to keep this a community institution that continues to evolve, and give people a place where they can go and feel something bigger. It’s not a gym, it’s much more; it’s a community wellness center,” Brochu said.
“The biggest thing for us is that this is a community wellness center. We want to integrate all aspects of the community here, including local business. We want them to be able to benefit from this building being saved. It was the efforts of the individuals of the Save the West Bay YMCA group that put a bug in our ear to save this.
They may want to run marathons, run around with grandkids and not get tired, maybe they are looking to get back into shape or are rehabbing an injury; everyone is going to use the facility for different things. The most critical thing for us right now is to build membership. We want to invite everyone back in here and see what we are doing.”