MassDevelopment

Ahead of Schedule, Old Colony YMCA Completes Its Purchase of Striar Center in Stoughton

June 13, 2011 : Stoughton Journal, by Vicki-Ann Downing


Old Colony YMCA Completes Purchase of Community Center Two Years Early

STOUGHTON — A year ahead of schedule, the Old Colony YMCA has completed its purchase of the former Striar Jewish Community Center property on Central Street.

And in the two years that the Y has leased the center, it has grown to become the Old Colony Y’s largest and busiest branch, exceeding even the East Bridgewater and Middleboro YMCAs, said YMCA President Vincent J. Marturano.

“It’s been better than we ever thought,” said Marturano. “It’s been a win-win all the way around for everybody.”

The Old Colony Y’s purchase of the former Striar center was made possible by a $4.6 million tax-exempt bond issued by MassDevelopment, the state's finance and development authority.

The tax-exempt bond, which was purchased by Rockland Trust Co., lowered borrowing costs for the Y, making the purchase possible, Marturano said.

Two years ago, the Old Colony Y entered into a lease agreement with Combined Jewish Philanthropies, which owned the 84,000-square-foot community center, and the Jewish Community Center of Greater Boston, which ran it and provided programming.

The purchase was expected to be completed by March 2012.

The agreement was proposed in fall 2008, when the worldwide economic crisis was unfolding and “it wasn't the time to be taking on any new” financial activities, Marturano remembered. The Y agreed to lease the center, get some experience with operations and see how successful it could be.

It was very successful. Membership doubled in the first two years, Marturano said. For the first two summers, 800 to 900 children attended summer camp, with a third of them receiving financial assistance.

The Striar YMCA has also been able to maintain several programs operated by the Striar Jewish Community Center: an onsite adult day program for New England Sinai Hospital, a cardiac rehabilitation program with Good Samaritan Medical Center in Brockton, and a day-care center that has been expanded to include 200 children, from infants to preschoolers.

The Striar Y is also one of the few with an auditorium that can be used for meetings and training programs.

The community center was built 20 years ago on 16 acres donated by Daniel Striar, a Newton developer who named it in honor of his parents, R. William and Sadie Striar.

The Old Colony Y, based in Brockton, is the second largest YMCA in Massachusetts. It serves more than 111,110 people annually in 31 communities in southeastern Massachusetts.

© Copyright 2011 Stoughton Journal.