PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh plans to close three more branches, as it wrestles with ongoing financial problems.
In an email to employees, President & CEO Kevin Bolding said the Penn Hills YMCA, Western Area YMCA and Wilmderding Area YMCA will close effective Aug. 31.
The Western Area YMCA in Coraopolis is currently closed due to flooding.
Closing these YMCAs will save the organization more than $1 million.
Bolding said the decision was difficult, but it’s part of a plan to get the organization out of bankruptcy sooner. He made the announcement at the Homewood-Brushton YMCA Tuesday morning.
“By the end of the summer we will close the doors of YMCA branches in Penn Hills, Wilmerding and Western YMCA in Coraopolis.”
The YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh filed for bankruptcy in May and has already filed a motion to dismiss bankruptcy. A ruling is expected later this month on July 25.
As for the three branches that will close, Bolding says they realize the impact.
“We don’t take closures lightly,” Bolding said. “Any time we have to close a facility we know that we are impacting hundreds if not thousands of people who depend on their local ‘Y’ for a variety of reasons.”
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Bolding said in the email to employees that other health and wellness centers, day and resident camps, before and after school care locations, off-site wellness programs and other commitments will continue to operate without interruption.
“The closings do not mean that we are abandoning our communities,” Bolding saod. “It’s far from it. We are dedicated to supporting critical needs of a community, even in the absence of a physical facility.”
He added, “To those people, I’m sorry. We are sorry. We don’t want to have to close YMCAs.”
In addition to the closing of the branches, the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh said it will undergo a complete internal reorganization, which will include a new staffing structure and an enhanced focus on community outreach designed to be less dependent on physical branch locations.
Bolding said the plan and staffing changes will affect every level of the organization, as they work to build a “21st Century YMCA.”
In June, the YMCA closed its Downtown Pittsburgh fitness facility and its branch in Delmont.
Bolding said the reorganization plan follows two months of negotiations with creditors and lenders, as well as guidance from volunteer leadership.