Amarillo Family YMCA Closing Due to 'Economic Realities'

The Amarillo Family YMCA said it could no longer afford to operate effectively
<p>The Amarillo Family YMCA said it could no longer afford to operate effectively.</p>

The Amarillo Family YMCA is closing on Aug. 1 due to financial strains after operating in the Texas town for 76 years.

“It’s tough,” YMCA board of directors member Taylor Kelley told the Amarillo Globe-News on Wednesday. “It’s been tough. That was very difficult.”

The Amarillo Family YMCA touched on the financial struggles in a statement issued to the media. The statement did not reveal dollar specifics, but the organization was nearly $900,000 in debt, according to an ABC7 News report.

The YMCA's board said it needed to 'make significant changes' when it became aware of issues in late 2013.

"The 2014-15 Board of Directors made amazing strides in our organizational turnaround goals resulting in bottom line gains of an extraordinary 184 percent turn-around in a nine-month period," the statement read. "This included reversed income trends, significant improvement in cash flow and reduced debt by $451,000. At year-end 2014, we had made a profit for the first time in decades and firmly believed our strategic plan, as guided by the Amarillo Area Foundation, would be successful."

The statement said a major part of its funding was cut and deleted the surplus, but did not disclose the source of the funding.

"Every effort was made to retain the 76-year-old culture of the YMCA, but sadly the economic realities of the situation were that we could no longer afford to operate effectively," the statement read.

The board has a tentative agreement to make available its facilities for children's sports, senior programs and an exercise area with Amarillo Netplex, which has made an offer to buy the facility for $1.6 million.

Amarillo Netplex's goal is to create a state-of-the-art sports facility with multiple volleyball and basketball courts. The group wants to locate two club sports organizations, JET Volleyball and Hoop 10, at the facility.

“If our offer is successful, we plan to make approximately $400,000 in renovations that will allow the court space to also accommodate six volleyball courts within the existing building,” JET Volleyball Director Jess Evers said in a statement.

If the transaction is finalized, Netplex is planning to offer the location's four baseball fields to the city of Amarillo.

Parents recently voiced their concerns about the state of the baseball practice fields to ABC7 News (see video below), claiming unsafe conditions for children and management's lack of action to address the concerns. One parent complained about knee-high weeds and stickers being 'everywhere' on the fields.

The YMCA told ABC7 News the main priority is to maintain the playing fields over the practice fields, citing a 'skinny budget.'

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