by Max Brantley
This is sad news that merits more reporting, but following is a letter received by members of the Westside YMCA:
Dear YMCA Members:
After operating the Westside YMCA facility for over 35 years, the Y Board has decided to close the facility. In a recent board meeting, the decision was made to focus available resources on continuing to provide programs within the community including soccer programs for youth, senior wellness programs, and Adventure Guides programs for fathers and their children. These programs will be operated without a YMCA-owned facility.
This was a difficult decision, arrived at after much study and work. It is made harder by its impact on the people; Y members and staff, who have supported Westside for so many years. Unfortunately, we’ve reached a point where it simply isn’t sustainable.
Through this action, our Y can withstand the current economy and still fulfill its mission to provide needed programs to our community. The programs that will continue are self-sustainable and it is our hope that the YMCA will offer additional programs in the future.
The Y will issue refunds for unused portions of annual memberships as soon as possible. You may check progress of those refunds by e-mailing email@example.com.
The last day of operations for the Westside Y will be December 31. I join the YMCA board of directors in thanking you for your participation at the Y.
No more brick-and-mortar Y in Little Rock? Perhaps there will be leased space of some sort. The absence of a Y building is unimaginable to me as a YMCA rat who spent every single Saturday of my youth at a YMCA in my hometown, where a gym, swimming pool, weight room, playing fields, game room and more were my idea of heaven. Is it possible that there were once Ys downtown, out west, at the Carver Y and in North Little Rock — and now, nothing? The Y explained some of its problems in closing the NLR branch in March.