Fresno YMCA Closing

May 19, 2009 7:30:21 PM PDT
The "Y" has about 500 members and officials are sending to notify them that it's closing. The "Y" still owes the bank $500,000 dollars. The plan is to have this building appraised, sell it, and if there is any money left over pay off their debt.

Soon the sound of clanking weights and the pounding of punching bags will be silenced, at the Central Valley Y.M.C.A.

This facility has served the community for 75 years and will close its doors next week.

Larry Gilstrap, Y.M.C.A. member said, ""I was very disappointed."

John Shehadey, Y.M.C.A. board chairman said, "the money just hasn't been there to do it, so we can't continue on."

Board chairman john Shehadey said it's been a struggle to pay the bills. Recently the Y.M.C.A. received less than $100,000 dollars in donations from the community; they needed at least $500,000 to stay alive.

John Shehadey, Y.M.C.A. Board Chairman said, "Economics we don't have the money we've been losing members for 15 to 20 years."

Shehadey said the "Y" never recovered from losing close to 300 members after the pool closed 3 years ago. This year they went into debt with the camp sponsor.

John Shehadey, Y.M.C.A. Board Chairman said, "There was no one thing. It happened over a period of years slowly deteriorating. We probably should have closed it sooner."

The good news is the "Y" will keep its child care program for children with dependent mothers. They hope it can be a lifeline for them as well.

John Shehadey, Y.M.C.A. Board Chairman said, "I guess it's hard to find a good program for kids the county is happy with it. We've been in that role. Maybe we can expand it."

Members who have been coming here for years say some local gyms are offering special rates to "Y" members. Shehadey said anyone who has a prepaid membership can get their money back if they want it.

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