Posted By: Stacey Vega

On the evening of June 21, 2023 Connolly Brothers, Inc. celebrated the grand opening of a new multipurpose rooftop garden and outdoor function space at the Demakes Family YMCA in Lynn. The Rooftop Garden will feature farm-to-table, nutrition education-oriented programs for youth and teens who will grow and harvest collard, cucumbers, eggplant, jalapenos, lettuce, and much more and then prepare foods together with peers in the YMCA's Healthy Kitchen.

“We are so proud to open this beautiful outdoor space for gardening and nutrition education and as a space for learning, cultural expression, health and wellness classes, and community events," says Kathleen Walsh, president and CEO of the YMCA of Metro North. “Connolly Brothers built a serene and elegant multi-functional space that will be a valued asset in our region for years to come. We invite everyone to stop down for a visit and a tour of this extraordinary space."

Connolly provided preconstruction, design, engineering, and construction management services on the project, collaborating closely with the YMCA's executive and facilities teams to deliver a space conducive to outdoor education as well as other wellness activities, including yoga, performances, and events. Focused on delivering a pleasant experience to all visitors, Connolly's functional yet stylish design emphasized a low-maintenance approach to upkeep. Offering views of the surrounding city, the inviting rooftop space features a structural steel pergola and raised concrete supporting an elegant Cumaru wood paver deck.

Protected from the elements by wind screens, the roofdeck also features planters and trellis for fruits and vegetables, stainless steel wash basins, benches and picnic tables, and rain barrels to collect water which may be used for irrigating crops. In close collaboration with Connolly and the YMCA, Wentworth Partners & Associates (structural engineering) and BLW Engineers, Inc. (mechanical, electrical, and plumbing) were key partners in ensuring that the project was completed smoothly and to satisfaction. “Creating a community-building space in which kids will learn how to grow and cook things together while connecting with one another is a special opportunity," says Jay Connolly, president of Connolly Brothers. “We were honored to assist the Demakes Family YMCA in their process of developing this vision and seeing it through to fruition."