Select Page

Hello Friends,

I am sure by now you have heard the good news — after quite a bit of time dedicated to locating and securing a location better suited to serving the growing 50 plus population, we have an exciting plan in place.

Tom Markus, the recently retired Birmingham City Manager, at the charge of the Birmingham Commission, has diligently worked with Next to find our “Next” home. To that end, The City of Birmingham has purchased the YMCA building on East Lincoln Street in Birmingham as a combined future site for the Y and Next.

This is great news for Next and the Y as our missions are well-aligned, and our view of service to the community are very compatible. The Birmingham City Commission unanimously approved this plan, fulfilling one of the city’s important strategic goals — a new home where our 50-plus community can stay active and connected.

The YMCA will reduce its footprint as it looks to expand operations in neighboring communities, and Next will
be able to utilize 30,000 square feet of the current 40,000 square foot building – that triples our current space! As the City of Birmingham has worked to secure a bright future for Next, we have also made a significant financial contribution of $500,000 that solidifies our commitment to this new exciting phase in our combined efforts to elevate the programs and services to area residents.

There will be questions about membership, neighboring community involvement, available resources, timelines, etc. All the details will be carefully and thoughtfully discussed in conjunction with the City of Birmingham and the YMCA, as we begin to plan for renovations in the coming months and years. We will continue to keep you updated and informed.

Next Steps

The next most critical, and immediate step in the process will be securing the funding needed to start the project. There will be final inspections on the building, and the need for many professional services to turn this plan into a reality.

None of this will happen easily without the proper funding in place. Our planned fundraising events that we do each year, the Golf Classic and annual fund appeals, will become even more important. We intend to make this fall’s event, Birmingham’s Big Night Out, even more widespread, and we will launch a capital campaign in the coming months.
All of this will be a vital part of our strategic financial plan — as well asking voters for approval for a small senior millage on the 2023 November Birmingham ballot.

By state law, municipalities can ask voters for up to a mill to support senior services. Almost every other municipality already takes advantage of this funding mechanism. Birmingham has not done so due to the previous arrangement

with the Birmingham Public Schools. Now that we are moving away from the schools, we will be asking for support from the community. This November’s ballot initiative will include Birmingham residents only. It is our intent as plans evolve, the other communities we serve, Beverly Hills, Franklin and Bingham Farms will also make a financial commit- ment to our combined 50 plus population. Those are conversations that will happen with each individual municipality moving forward.

We need your help!

This is where you come in. On this November’s ballot, Birmingham will only be asking voters to approved a 1/3 mill,
or $30.00 per $100,000 of taxable value per homeowner. A senior millage is new to Birmingham. We need to raise awareness of Next, and the proposed senior millage, not just with our members, but all voters. We are putting together various committees to help spread the word to be certain of a successful outcome this November. A positive outcome is necessary to move forward with the Next-YMCA building project.

If you can spare some time, even an hour, that would be very helpful. Some very simple tasks such as making
a few phone calls to friends and neighbors, to passing out yard signs, to dropping a postcard in the mail to your friends and colleagues, will all make a difference.

If you are willing to take on a bigger role, your help is needed and welcome! Please call the office to volunteer on
this important initiative, one that will have lasting impact on the community well into the future. You may also register on line. As we get organized, we will plan an initial meeting to share more information.

There is much yet to accomplish and much to consider but it is all very exciting! As we look forward to the bright future of Next with a permanent and stable home, we are grateful to all of our members who have been so patient and understanding as we explored various options. We now know we can properly invest in our 50 plus residents, and be sure we are well situated to provide quality programs and exceptional service well into the future.

If you have any immediate questions, please contact me at cbraun@birmingham.k12.mi.us or stop in to my office when you’re in the building.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Cris Braun

Executive Director