The YMCA of Middle Tennessee is closing three facilities that have a combined operating loss of more than $850,000 annually, according to a news release from the Y. In turn, the Y is reinvesting in an existing facility to ensure long-term fiscal stability.
The Y closed Nashville's Harding Place YMCA and the North Clarksville YMCA on May 15, and the Wadlington Tennis Center in Nashville will close June 30. About 5 percent of the YMCA of Middle Tennessee’s total membership base—or 4,000 out of 85,000 households—will be affected by the closure of the two wellness facilities and tennis center.
Known as the “International Y,” the Harding Place YMCA once had members who spoke 43 languages and hailed from 77 countries.
“The Harding Place Y has been an incredible community asset for 23 years, and we’re grateful we were able to provide wellness services in North Clarksville over the last year, but we do feel that there are other ways that we can use our resources to continue serving those communities,” said Dan Dummermuth, who became the CEO of the Middle Tennessee YMCA last year.
The YMCA transformed the American Fitness Center into the Harding Place YMCA in 1992. The facility, which had the largest public hot tub in the state of Tennessee, closed due to a decline in the number of members visiting the facility. About 2,800 households had memberships at the center, but more than 25 percent of them started using other YMCA locations. The aging facility was in need of costly repairs.
“The Y leaders believe that members will be better served by newer facilities that have opened in the area in recent years,” the release states.
The Harding Place YMCA is located two miles from the Southern Hills YMCA and within five miles of the Christ Church YMCA. To help the Harding Place YMCA members stay active, the Y is giving those members free one-month passes to use at any of the other 16 centers within the YMCA of Middle Tennessee Association.
The YMCA also opted to close the North Clarksville YMCA because the leased facility did not perform as projected during its first full year of operation and because its current membership was not sufficient to sustain the facility long-term, according to the release.
The members of the North Clarksville YMCA will be able to use the Clarksville Area YMCA Kimbrough Family Center and will receive a free temporary membership.
As part of its strategic restructuring plan, the YMCA is expanding the nearby Donelson-Hermitage Y to increase its capacity and handle the displaced members. Y officials plan to add additional group exercise and wellness space to the Donelson-Hermitage YMCA. The YMCA also will transfer the fitness equipment from the three closed facilities to other YMCA locations within the association, according to Jessica Fain, senior vice president of communications for the YMCA of Middle Tennessee.