The Penobscot Bay YMCA announced that the front doors of its Union Street facility are now fully handicap accessible. The project came about as a way to help Derek O’Brien, a YMCA member who was paralyzed in a swimming accident several years ago, as well as other physically limited individuals become more independent.

Beginning last summer, community members were asked to purchase a personalized $100 engraved paver to be placed in the walkway in front of the YMCA. Proceeds from the pavers as well as $1,000 in an initial donation from Superior Restoration Services quickly grew to cover the project’s $6,000 installation cost.

As of Jan. 12, the doors are literally open for business, helping to make the YMCA fully accessible.