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UPDATE: YMCA No Longer Free

Merrimack students’ free ride at the YMCA of Andover/North Andover has ended.

Students who previously were allowed access to the Y with their MackCards are now being turned away unless they are members through another source. In 2012, the college announced a partnership with the Y, located about a quarter of a mile from campus on Peters Street.

The deal gave Merrimack students the opportunity to use facilities at the Y such as the swimming pool, sauna or gym facilities. It also gave Y members the opportunity to use the rink in the Lawler Arena during open skate times.

The deal, according to Y Executive Director Alex Turek, is no longer in existence. “We have a young adult rate that is for ages 19 to 23 that costs only $26 a month and is half the cost of our adult membership.

“This category was created with the college student in mind as well as others in that age range.” Turek said. Turek is new to the Andover/ North Andover Y and was not employed at that location when the deal was made with Merrimack, he said.

Merrimack athletes often used the pool for cross training when trying to give their legs a rest. The pool at the Y offered student athletes that alternative training method. However, many students also used the Y gym when the Sakowich Gym is overcrowded.

According to Jeff Doggett, President Hopey’s chief of staff said the agreement with the Y was a “gentleman’s agreement” that gave the Y members access to the Lawler Arena ice. When the Y members no longer found a need for the ice, the agreement between the Y and Merrimack ended.

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