DALLAS (CBSNewsTexas.com) — It has been the destination for lunchtime workouts and after-work pickup games for more than 40 years, but the home of the downtown Dallas YMCA will soon be shutting its doors permanently.
The YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas confirmed that the T. Boone Pickens YMCA on Akard Street is under contract to an undisclosed owner.
"It's right across the street. I can come over at lunch. It's just been a part of my life for so long," said member Lisa Garrett.
The more than 200,000 square foot facility is down to its final weeks as a YMCA. President and CEO Curt Hazelbaker said membership has plummeted since the pandemic, and the cost to repair and improve the building ballooned to more than $8 million.
"So you have a tiny membership base and an 83-year-old building with pretty substantial repair needs," he said. "So all those things, the board made the decision, 'Let's look and see if there's an opportunity to sell this.'"
But for some who use the facilities, what the downtown Y offered can't be measured in dollars.
"Since 2018 when I started, we would come to the Y every day as a group," said member Kaylee Charlton. "We come get our workout classes as a group, so it's been a really impactful place for us."
Garrett said being a working person, it has been so integrated in her life.
"I don't know what I'm going to do now," she said.
The building will close its doors on Nov. 25—the Saturday after Thanksgiving. But Hazelbaker said they're not closing the door on downtown as a future location.
"There may be a period of time that we're not downtown, but that doesn't mean we won't be downtown," he said. "Right now, in our situation with the building, with membership, it makes sense from a fiduciary standpoint."
He also said about two-thirds of the people they serve don't come into the buildings but receive services off-site. And he said that commitment will continue, building or not.
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