YMCA Briefs: Ys Undergoing Reorganization Projects in Milwaukee, Cincinnati, New England

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The YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee is reshuffling its local footprint by partnering with area nonprofits, healthcare providers and social service organizations to deepen its regional reach, according to a report by Milwaukee Business Journal. The Y, which filed for bankruptcy in 2014 and restructured in 2015, will double the number of people it serves by 2021, CEO Carrie Wall told the Journal. The Y recently converted its Parklawn YMCA branch into a program center and permanently closed the branch's fitness center. The Y will not close its Northside or Downtown branches, but to-be-determined changes at both locations are expected, according to the Journal. Wall told the Journal she ultimately envisions the Y operating out of three primary neighborhood hubs: Rite-Hite, Downtown and Northside. Currently, the Y only owns the real estate for two of its sites: Rite-Hite and Camp Minikani in Hubertus, Wisconsin.

The YMCA of Greater Cincinnati on Dec. 21 is closing the pool and fitness center at its Melrose branch as part of a larger strategy to consolidate its efforts while addressing community needs. In 2019, several new organizations, including a charter school and multiple social services agencies, are moving into the Melrose YMCA's longtime building on Melrose Avenue, according to the Y. "Our commitment to helping our neighbors reach goals, build supportive relationships, and find a place where they can belong, has brought us to this one-stop-shop solution," Y CEO Jorge Perez said in a media release. "In collaboration with our partners, we will again support thousands of our friends along their developmental journeys; we will be building on the strengths and histories of each organization.” A new fitness center will open at the Melrose Y in August 2019, but it is yet to be determined if there will be a new aquatics space.

Due to steadily declining membership, the Valley of the Sun YMCA closed its Mesa Family branch in Mesa, Arizona, on Dec. 8, according to The Arizona Republic. The branch's operations have since transitioned to the nearby Ross Farnsworth-East Valley YMCA branch. Nonprofit organization Chicanos Por La Causa purchased the Mesa Family Y building and plans to re-open it in early 2019. Y CEO Peyton Tune told the Republic he was pleased the building was sold to a like-minded organization that will continue to serve the community in its own way.

A five-acre, $8.9 million donation from Dr. Phillips Charities will fuel the development of a new YMCA facility in the Orlando neighborhood of College Park, according to the Orlando Sentinel. The Y will be part of a 200-plus-acre, multi-use project that is transforming the city's Packing District into a development and recreational space. Construction is expected to begin on the Y in late 2019 and to be completed by early 2021.

The Berkshire Family YMCA, Pittsfield, Massachusetts, will spend 2019 exploring a possible takeover of the Bennington Recreation Center, located 30 miles north in Bennington, Vermont, as part of a new management agreement between the organizations. Associate Y director Jessie Rumlow will become the rec center's interim director during 2019 while the organizations assess whether or not the facilities should merge, according to the Bennington Banner. The town of Bennington will pay the Y $43,200 for its operational assistance in 2019, per the agreement.

Club Industry's YMCA briefs features recent notable openings, real estate transactions and renovations among American Y facilities. Do you have news to share with us? Send your news, tips or story ideas to [email protected]. You can also connect with us on Facebook, on Twitter and on LinkedIn.

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