North Georgia YMCA Closing
FT. OGLETHORPE, GA (WRCB) -- YMCA officials have announced the North Georgia Y facility will close.
Here are the details released to Eyewitness News:
After several unsuccessful partnership attempts aimed at building a comprehensive YMCA facility in North Georgia, Y volunteers and staff have announced that the storefront YMCA facility in Fort Oglethorpe would be closed April 1, 2010.
The decision to close the wellness facility in Fort Oglethorpe was made jointly by the volunteers of the North Georgia Family YMCA and the YMCA of Metropolitan Chattanooga. "We know that the people of North Georgia want and deserve a better facility," said Randy Brown, president and CEO of the YMCA of Metropolitan Chattanooga. "Our plan has always been to keep this facility going until that goal could be realized, but now our volunteers have all but lost hope in that vision for the future."
"One thing we want to be very clear about is our determination to continue other YMCA programs and services in North Georgia," said Mr. Brown, citing collaborations with Catoosa County Schools, the Parks and Recreation Department and the Catoosa County Senior Center. "Our emphasis in North Georgia will be on after school programs, youth sports and specialized programs for senior adults, teens and children."
The North Georgia Family YMCA has operated in the community for over 25 years, and during that time has never been self-sustaining explains Mr. Brown, "Now with hopes dashed for a new YMCA wellness center in the area, we don't feel we can continue to ask other YMCAs in the association to support this facility."
Brown pointed out that all the large, full-service YMCA wellness facilities in the Chattanooga were the result of strong community partnerships which created win/win situations for all the parties involved.
The policy of the YMCA is to turn no one away for an inability to pay. Since its beginning, the North Georgia Family YMCA has provided member scholarships and program subsidies totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars to individuals, families, teens and children. In 2008 alone, $93,633 was given in programs and memberships to North Georgia families and individuals.
Those who are now members of the North Georgia YMCA will automatically become association-wide members of all the YMCAs in the Metropolitan Chattanooga, including locations at Eastgate, East Brainerd and Downtown. They will also receive a free Fit Start program to help them become acclimated to the YMCA of their choice.