For sure, there are a few memorable moments in Chestertown’s almost four centuries of history when pivotal events took place. Of course, the most obvious was when this small community was actually created in 1706 when the powers to be in London decided that this location was perfect for a “Royal Port of Entry,” i.e., a legal center of commerce approved by the Crown. Nothing then, or since, could equal the impact of this simple entitlement as politicians, doctors, clergy, lawyers, educators, farmers, and entrepreneurs decided to make Kent County their home.
Without doubt, the founding of Washington College comes next in the consequential order when it started as the first nonsectarian liberal arts institution of North America in 1782. That vision by founder William Smith, with the special blessing of his friend, George Washington, established Chestertown in the 18th century as one of a handful of intellectual hubs in the new country.
From there, the list grows with such things as (bias aside) the beginning of the Chestertown Spy in 1793, or a century later, the establishment of the Chester River Hospital. And in later times, it will be recalled with pride the building of the Sultana, the addition of Wilmer Park, and such things as being one of the first farmers’ markets in the country.
But the Spy would venture to say that when the YMCA in Chestertown opens its doors to its members late this year or early in 2022, it will be quickly noted as another seminal moment for the town and Kent County.
This 52,000 square foot facility, with a $15 million price tag, will undoubtedly be one of the most remarkable investments in Chestertown’s future in the 21st century. With a six-lane indoor pool, double-sized gym, an elevated running track, four exercise rooms, commercial kitchen, and seemingly countless meeting rooms, the Y on Schindler Road opening promises to be one of the transformative moments in Kent County’s history.
The Spy took a tour of the new YMCA building last week with guide Robbie Gill, the CEO and president of the YMCA of the Chesapeake, just months before its opening. After our inspection, Robbie sits down with us to talk about the project, its journey to this point, and the long-term impact this will have on our community.
This video is approximately five minutes in length. For more information about the YMCA of the Chesapeake please go here.