ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — YMCA is closing two local branches permanently, citing the pandemic as the reason.
George Romell, President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Rochester said Friday operations will cease at the Monroe Avenue facility in Rochester, as well as the branch in Victor.
“I want to stress our commitment to the city,” Romell said. “Our ability to support the city by losing all of the support that our suburban branches provide, is going to be extremely challenging and the longer we remain closed the harder it’s going to be.”
Local gyms are still not allowed to open, due to New York state COVID-19 regulations.
Romell says it has been frustrating to see big box stores and museums reopen while their health wellness centers haven’t been able to. The only operations that have been going on are emergency childcare and just recently, outdoor fitness classes.
According to Romell, the Y usually generates around $60 million a year, but this year, the CEO said they will be lucky to hit $25 million.
Romell says the YMCA on Monroe Avenue location is turning over operations to Center for Youth moving forward. The Center for Youth has been looking to reopen safety, but its current location was too small to do so. This new location allows the center to reopen safely.
“We do this with a deep and abiding belief that together we can do anything we can be anything,” Executive Director of Center for Youth Elaine Spaul said. “Our young people will be here. We served 33,000 young people last year and they will be here and they need more space. “
Y members will be welcomed at all the other locations that may be closer to them to use once those locations are given the green light to reopen. Romell said it will take a few months for owner change to take effect. Spaul said they would like to move in by the end of September.
The YMCA says they received help from private foundations, private individuals and financial support from the United Way synergy fund to help keep afloat during the pandemic.
Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.