By Jordan Cohen
The Warren/Trumbull YMCA, in its High Street location since the building’s construction in 1928, has undergone numerous changes through the years.
Thirty windows on the first two floors have not, however. They are 84 years old, single-pane and anything but energy efficient.
“A ton of cold air comes through them in the winter and the heat in the summer,” said Richard Denamen, YMCA interim director. “When the winters are rough, our gas and electric bills average $13,000 to $15,000 a month.”
That has led Denamen and the Y to launch the “Window of Opportunity” fundraising campaign asking residents, groups and businesses to sponsor a window at $250 each. The name of the sponsor will appear permanently in dusted crystal script in a corner of the window.
Thus far, eight windows have been purchased.
Replacement of all 30 windows would cost $7,500, money the cash-strapped Y does not have. “Our finances are not in a position to take on a replacement project,” Denamen said.
Denamen said the idea for a sponsored window campaign came from Paulette Edington, YMCA director of youth programs and aquatics, after a similar campaign worked for her church.
He then contacted Ed Kalaher, owner of Clear Choice Windows, Warren, to work on a replacement plan. Kalaher said that another Warren company, Vista Windows, agreed to manufacture 30 triple-pane, double-hung windows as replacements. “I wanted to keep it right here in town,” he said.
“Vista has its own unique window technology and I think in three months [after installation] the Y’s utility bills will be dramatically less,” Kalaher said. “Computer models show their bills could decrease from 14 percent to 21 percent, but I think it could be even more.”
Kurt Sauer, a Warren professional engineer, estimates that the new windows would save the facility more than $10,500 in energy bills annually. Sauer provided the estimate in a memo to Richard Thompson, chairman of the Y’s board of directors.
Thompson said the YMCA has taken other steps to lower its utility bills including last year’s installation of energy-efficient lighting through a special program from FirstEnergy. “That has helped reduce our utility costs and so will the window replacements, but the campaign is the only way we can do it because it’s not in our capital budget,” Thompson said.
Denamen, who became the interim director last December, said he hopes to have the program completed by the end of August, but all the windows must be sponsored first.
“We need to know the money is in hand before we complete the project,” Denamen said.
Information about “Window of Opportunity” sponsorships is available by calling 330-394-1565 or on the Warren Trumbull YMCA website, www.thetcymca.org. Click on the “Special Events” link.