One month after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and closing its Fifth Avenue facility, the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh announced on July 10 that it will close three additional branches this summer.
The Western Area YMCA was immediately closed, while the Penn Hills YMCA and the Wilmerding YMCA will both close on Aug. 31, according to a media release from the Y.
“These decisions will allow the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh to exit the bankruptcy process as we continue to deliver the services and programs the community expects,” the release states. “All other fitness centers, wellness programs and other YMCA commitments will continue to operate uninterrupted. The remaining eight full facility YMCA branches will not be impacted.”
Displaced employees may be able to transition to other roles within the Y system, according to a July 10 report by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. However, layoffs are expected at the Y’s downtown headquarters, the Gazette reported, but it is unknown how many of the group’s 40 administrative staff members could be affected.
The Y is currently operating with an annual deficit of $1 million. This is largely due to the now-terminated lease of its downtown location, which the group closed on June 8.
“The downtown lease was the immediate issue ... but it wasn’t the only piece,” Margaret Joy, the Y’s board chair, told the Gazette. “We just can’t have all these buildings. It wasn’t financially sustainable the way it was, and we’re not going to kick that can down the road anymore.”
The media release issued by the Y laments the impact the closures will have on the community.
“As we worked through the plans for our reorganization, we knew we had more difficult days ahead, but it is our belief that these changes will allow us to remain a vital service provider in greater Pittsburgh, especially for those in underserved communities,” the release states.