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Greater Beverly YMCA Capital Project Takes Flight with White Light

In 1976's The Lester O. Sterling YMCA opened and was hailed as one of the most forward-thinking YMCAs around with the largest pool complex, state-of-the-art facilities and a gorgeous piece of land off Route 22 in northeast Beverly. Some 40 years later, a massive capital campaign led by Executive Director Judith Cronin came to completion after six years of planning, nearly a year of renovations and ongoing fundraising efforts. The Greater Beverly YMCA commemorated the Sterling Center’s new early education facility and expanded healthy living center, products of a $7.5 million capital construction project.

“This is a magnificent day,” said Judith Cronin, executive director of the Greater Beverly YMCA, thanking all those in attendance for coming to the ceremony Tuesday morning, March 27. “Today is, without exception, the highlight of my professional career. Our dream has finally become a reality ... This is a wonderful example of when the community comes together, we can accomplish great things.”The Ralph E. Bates Healthy Living Center, named for the Manchester philanthropist who donated $1 million to the project, has been added onto the newly renovated Sterling Center. And, on top of the hill on the Sterling Center campus, folks will find the brand new, nearly 13,000-square-foot education center.

White Light Visual was selected to design, produce and install an inspiring donor recognition wall to adorn the new YMCA entry's grand atrium lobby, complete with a 25' x 25' two-story wall. Aptly painted "Poolside Blue" White Light applied it's 30 years of creativity and expertise and designed a multi-dimensional flock of birds flying up the stairwell wall, consisting of 6 layers of bird forms representing the various tiers of donors.

The concept called upon over 165 birds of various shapes, sizes, thicknesses and mounting methods in order to develop depth and movement, including shadow birds forms to flank other 20" wide birds fashioned from brushed stainless steel and acrylic.

David Silva of White Light Visual

The challenges of installation were painstakingly engineered in pre-production utilizing a low-tack vinyl template showing the imposition of each bird on the wall, denoted by an elaborate numbering system for each bird's donor level and corresponding name. The template was installed to the blank wall in 9 parts, then, each bird was carefully mounted into position one-by-one as the flock took shape.

Once all of the birds were installed on the wall, the template was removed to reveal the grandeur of the flock's flight up the stairwell and revealed each of the 125 donor names. Their collective generosity that helped make the new expansion possible was celebrated on Tuesday, March 27th at a ribbon cutting ceremony featuring many local dignitaries, politicians, board members and those actively participating in the project, including Thad Siemasko or S+V Design, Windover Construction and over 100 people from the Greater Beverly YMCA community.

Executive Director Judith Cronin addresses the attendees and gives credit to the many patrons and individuals that made the capital campaign a success.

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