South Mountain YMCA to close

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX-- The South Mountain branch of the YMCA is counting down its final days. The Y at 222 E. Olympic Drive held a meeting Monday to address the closure.

Members came out to express their concern for the community and desire for the Y to stay put. The YMCA says several new gyms moved into the area, membership was down, and the building was just too big. The YMCA could no longer afford to keep the branch open.

The YMCA will keep the sports fields for Y and community sports activities. It will also work with other spaces to continue programs in the community.

But that's still leaving a lot of people, like Bobbie Kennedy, without a place to work out. "It didn't surprise me," she says. "I was like, well, I just go downtown. They remodeled it and they have a lot of good facilities down there. You gotta travel a little farther."

Yolanda Flores said she thought this YMCA would be there forever.  "I thought it was very sad because it's so convenient. Especially senior members because we have a hard time getting around to different places," said Flores.

The YMCA's marketing director Jim Diaz says they are just as sad as their patrons about this closure. The Y sold the building to the James Megellas Foundation.

That foundation will run a program to educate kids 16-to-24 years old who have not completed high school. People with memberships at South Mountain will get complimentary memberships at other YMCA locations through the end of May to help with the transition. The Y says it will close the South Mountain branch on March 28th.