YMCA of Greater Kansas City to add one location, renovate two existing Ys and close three others

The YMCA of Greater Kansas City announced a plan early Tuesday to add a new Y, renovate two existing centers and close three others.

The new full-service YMCA will be located at the southeast corner of 10th Street and Grand Boulevard in downtown Kansas City. Renovation and expansion plans will be implemented at the Linwood Family YMCA at 3800 E. Linwood Boulevard, Kansas City, Mo., and renovation and expansion of the Atchison Family YMCA at 321 Commercial, Atchison, Kan.

"The Board of Directors and our executive leadership team are very excited about our plans to have an even stronger presence in downtown and make the much needed investment in our Linwood and Atchison facilities," said Bryan Camerlinck, chair of the YMCA of Greater Kansas City Board of Directors.

The plan comes after a 24-month research period that found the three Ys that will be closing were battling declining membership and program interest, an increase in people ending their memberships, close proximity to other Ys, rising operating expenses, and a significant amount of deferred maintenance for the aging facilities.

The facilities that will be closing are the Independence Family YMCA, 14001 E. 32nd Street, Independence, Mo.; Richard C. Green, Sr., Family YMCA, 10301 E. 350 Highway, Raytown, Mo.; and 8th Street Family YMCA, 900 N. 8th Street, Kansas City, Kan.

Those three buildings will close April 12. Members from the three facilities, which total about 2,400, will have the option to transfer their membership to a neighboring location.

"The decision to close locations was a difficult one that we all took very seriously," Camerlinck said. "The Y will continue to serve these communities through our nearby facilities and through our multiple partnerships. This strategic plan improves the Y's long-term financial position and allows us to continue to improve health, develop youth, and serve the social needs of our city."

On top of the above changes, the YMCA will also transfer operations of its Miami County, Kan., location, 300 11th Street in Osawatomie, to the Osawatomie Unified School District 367.

The district already owns the building, which adjoins Osawatomie High School, and will continue to operate it as a community center. The 700 members of the Miami County Family YMCA will have the opportunity to transfer their memberships.

"We are unwavering in our commitment to strengthening the greater Kansas City community, and we look forward to continuing to be here for decades to come," said David Byrd, president and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Kansas City. "We're preparing for more community service than ever before, and we have made some difficult decisions to ensure that we can deliver our mission and also be good stewards of available resources."

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