The YMCA has been a staple in Kings County for decades -- a place where residents can go to get fit or just play. The facility on Grangeville Boulevard and Rodgers Street in Hanford will be closing its doors next week.
Monday will be the last day for the Hanford YMCA here. Kings County YMCA Interim CEO David Hembree says the building is deteriorating, and it has to act in the best financial interests of the program.
"The building -- it's experienced years of deferred maintenance and to continue to operate the building is not financially viable for us," said Hembree.
While the basketball and tennis courts aren't seeing the playtime they have in previous years, Hembree says their fitness facility, pool and playground were still used by the public. And while the building itself will close, the Y is hoping to continue youth sports programs, plus maintain the pool ? in essence a YMCA without walls.
"We're converting some current memberships to pool memberships. We'll also have a day pass that we'll probably put together a card, a punch card system, and so we will be operating that pool for the community," said Hembree.
The closure is disappointing for many in the community. Action News featured the Hanford YMCA's day care program back in 2007. For financial reasons, the day care closed its doors early last year.
Shortly after, Corcoran's YMCA essentially went private -- disassociating itself from the YMCA name and instead now calls it the RAC, or Recreation Association of Corcoran.
Having gone to the Hanford YMCA as a kid, Hembree is planning on keeping the Y active in the community, despite the building's closure.
"We're not going away, we'll be wanting to talk to community members for input as to really what relevant programs and services the Y can provide," he said.
This YMCA facility employs about 15 full- and part-time employees. All summer camps associated with the Y will not be affected by the building's closure.