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Facility closure in Rutland has residents asking, ‘Y?’

Posted on Thursday, July 24, 2014 at 11:29 am

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Some Mechanicsville residents will have to travel to a different YMCA for their daily fitness fill starting this fall.

The Atlee YMCA location will close this fall due to financial difficulties.

The Atlee YMCA location will close this fall due to financial difficulties.

The organization’s Atlee Station location will be closing due to financial reasons, according to their website.

For the Rutland community developer, HHHunt which had an agreement with the branch, this came as a surprise.

“It was a surprise to me, not a shock, because they had indicated some financial struggles, but I was very surprised that they made the decision to cease operations there without sitting down with us, trying to find a solution to make it work,” said Dan Schmitt, president of HHHunt.

In January, YMCA notified the developer, who also owns the Atlee Station building, that they’re running a deficit, Schmitt said. However, he was not told that the facility would be closing.

The location has roughly 800 members and fewer amenities than most YMCAs in the Greater Richmond Region. For example, it lacks a  pool, said Blake Carleton, vice president of membership.

Carleton said this added to why the facility was not financially successful.

“We just don’t have everything other YMCAs have,” he said.

The facility does have a wellness center, childcare and group exercises. In the beginning, YMCA received some extra land from HHHunt to extend the building and facility offerings to eventually include a pool. Carleton said they weren’t able to get financially stable enough to get to that point.

The nonprofit does not plan on closing any other YMCAs in the Greater Richmond Region, Carleton said.

Read the full story in the July 24 Herald-Progress. Call 798-9031 to subscribe.