The Penobscot Bay YMCA announced May 29 that its Board of Directors voted in favor of expanding the YMCA’s health and wellness programs along with childcare services to southern Knox County.

The new facility will be located at 12 Water St. in Rockland, which was formally occupied by Amalfi’s Restaurant.

“The Penobscot Bay YMCA is extremely excited about the opportunity to expand its services directly to the Southern Knox County region,” said Troy Curtis, executive director of the Pen Bay YMCA in a news release. “For years, the Y has been discussing and looking for ways to better serve the Rockland community. This opportunity has presented us with a way to do just that.”

Services offered will include a state of art fitness center, indoor and outdoor exercise studios and a childcare center to serve families with infants through preschoolers.

In addition, plans are under way to offer after school programs with the community, cardiac rehabilitation services and LIVESTRONG at the YMCA, which is a free wellness program for cancer survivors.

While a Y membership or day fee will be required to use the facility, that same membership will provide access to both the new Rockland branch and the existing Rockport facility and all its offerings.

Penobscot Bay YMCA memberships fees are income-based, meaning the pricing structure is designed to adjust the membership rate based on household income. This initiative fits the Penobscot Bay YMCA's mission of keeping the Y accessible to everyone regardless of financial capacity and is anchored firmly in the Y's commitment to social responsibility.

The Board vote that took place in April placed the stipulation of raising the needed capital dollars before any agreement became binding. A contingency has been placed on the project to raise the $300,000 necessary to pay for needed equipment and start-up costs. However, a $100,000 matching gift has already been pledged to the Y to stimulate giving and an early summer campaign to raise the remaining dollars is currently underway.

If individuals have questions regarding this project, or would like to receive information on ways to support the fundraising effort, they are encouraged to call or email the Y at 236-3375 or info@penbayymca.org.