Solano County YMCA closes for good

May 29, 2008 11:52:02 PM PDT
Just as children are about to get out of school and the summer season begins, a YMCA in Solano County that serves close to 8,000 people will be shutting its doors for good.

The shot clock has just about run out for the North Bay YMCA in Suisun City. On July 1st, the gym will be dark, along with the recreation room where kids have enjoyed shooting pool and struggling with hula hoops for the past 12 years.

"I'm devastated. I've been here since 2001 and I'm shocked," said 14-year-old Malik Price.

"I enjoy it a lot and I play back here at the recreation room and in the gym and it's really fun," said 10-year-old Anala Price.

"And now that it's closing?" asked ABC7's John Alston.

"I'm going to be very sad," said 10-year-old Anala Price.

Tough times finally caught up with the Suisun City "Y". Membership has dropped by about 20 percent over the past year; now down to about 900 due in part to a troubled economy in Solano County.

The parent YMCA in San Francisco tried to keep this center afloat, pumping in more than $4 million over the past 12 years.

"I think we've been working very hard since October trying to avoid this, but ultimately time ran out," said Chip Rich from the YMCA.

The closing will be a disruption for a lot of families who pay $75 a month for memberships.

Michael Mauk works out here about three times a week while the staff looks after his 3-year-old daughter Olivia.

"It's going to be a loss. The kids will have no place to go and we'll have no place to go. It's reasonable for a family membership. It's a nice place to come and the people are real good," said Mauk.

Suisun City, which owns the building, says other organizations are interested in the property.

The YMCA and city are hoping to keep most of the programs going at schools and other city facilities. After the pool closes, one in Rio Vista will be available.

The trick will be finding money and resources.

"That's the challenge we're researching right now is how we can best keep these programs going with the resources we have and that will be the challenge in the next few weeks how to do that," said Suisun City spokesperson Scott Corey.

Officials with the YMCA think they've shaken all the branches for donations and unless a miracle benefactor steps forward in the next few weeks, this workout room will be as quiet as it is tonight heading into closing time.


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