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Carlisle Family YMCA

Above: The YMCA’s main facility has been in Carlisle since 1960.

Land development plans for two upcoming projects were approved by Carlisle Borough Council at its Thursday meeting.

The council approved preliminary and final plans for the anticipated renovation of the Carlisle Family YMCA at Willow and South West streets.

Speaking for the YMCA, Hubert Gilroy said the organization had come the council previously to announce their plans, and subsequently worked with the staff prior to filing a preliminary subdivision plan. The plan then went before the planning commission and was tabled, which allowed the YMCA to address any conditions or comments. Last month, the plan was approved, Gilroy said.

The borough council approved the preliminary land development plan and granted a waiver for the submission of a final land development plan.

“Because there’s really no conditions that we haven’t met already, coming back for a final plan would essentially be redundant,” Gilroy said.

According to the Carlisle Family YMCA website, the oldest section of the building and two of the building’s four courts will be removed. An L-shaped addition designed to complement the remaining portions of the building will be built.

New amenities include a splash pad adjacent to the pool, meeting rooms, teaching kitchen, high bay multipurpose room, locker rooms, larger fitness center, fitness center and spaces for children including a child care center.

Doug Brehm of Brehm-Lebo engineering said the construction will include subsurface stormwater management features to capture runoff from both the new impervious surfaces as well as the old.

“We’re hoping to improve the drainage situation there,” he said.

The plan will also increase parking on the site to 161 spaces, he said.

Brenda Landis asked if officials had considered renovating rather than tearing down the historic portion of the building that was once the Franklin School, adding that legally it could be demolished since it’s outside of the historic district.

“There have been a series over many, many years of beautiful structures — schools and other places — that have been demolished,” she said.

Gilroy said the major problem with that part of the building is that it had walls as thick as three feet in some places and that its passageways were not amenable to the day care and other facilities the YMCA houses there.

“We didn’t have any consultant that suggested it would be cost feasible to try to maintain the facade or anything like that,” he said.

He said that, other than one contributor to the project, there had been no comments from anyone suggesting there was a concern about maintaining the former school building.

“We think that the building, when it is built, is going to be very attractive and the neighbors are going to really appreciate it,” Gilroy said.

The borough council also approved a land development plan for the former Tyco site. Justin Doty of Frederick, Seibert & Associates said the plan consolidated parcels in the project area. The Tyco parcel is the largest, but the plan does include two smaller parcels with frontage on North Hanover Street. Those parcels are in North Middleton Township.

The submission and approval of the plan is just one step of many to come in relation to the 4.2-acre parcel.

“We’ll be back before you at some point with a land development plan,” Doty said.

Expected in late spring or early summer, that plan will show the council what Cumberland Area Economic Development Corp., through its Real Estate Collaborative subsidiary, wants to accomplish on the property.

The Real Estate Collaborative acquired the site with plans to develop office, retail and restaurant or brewery space. The site is in the land development phase, which includes a traffic impact study.

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Carlisle Reporter

Carlisle Reporter for The Sentinel.