The Vigo County YMCA pool is considered a selling point for possible members.
“Like if I was gonna talk to someone ‘hey you should come here’ that’s one of the big things cuz the other gyms in town don’t have that,” said Daniel Bryan, a member and instructor.
Now that the YMCA has announced the pool will be closed by Labor Day, until further notice, it’s creating a mixed reaction from members and workers.
“I have mixed emotions because on one hand I was disappointed and sad but on the other hand I realized, okay, I know it’s an albatross, I know it’s hugely expensive,” said Bryan.
Money is one of the main reasons behind the decision, according to YMCA of the Wabash Valley CEO Ryan Penrod.
“In order to be able to respond to the programs that people have wanted we have to be able to align our resources in a way that will allow us to add programs and deliver on what people want without going into debt or a deeper hole financially,” said Penrod.
Penrod says he fully understands the emotions members are feeling toward the closing.
“I can sympathize with people that maybe are upset that the pool is closing here at the Vigo County YMCA,” said Penrod. “I have two young boys that are ages 6 and 8, and when I told them that the pool was closing, they were upset.”
But Penrod says the decision was necessary in order to expand current programming, and he says folks will still have aquatic opportunities in relation to the YMCA.
“We want to add more youth and adult sports,” said Penrod. “We also want to continue to deliver on aquatic programming by partnering with other entities here in the community that have aquatic facilities.”
The YMCA is planning to partner with Rose-Hulman and possibly Indiana State and Deming Park in order to bring aquatic activities to members.
Bryan says he’d rather have a YMCA than not, even if it means no pool.
“In Terre Haute, we’re not a booming economic economy, we need organizations that are willing to do what it takes to stay in town,” said Bryan.
And Penrod hopes the public considers the Y’s efforts before making any decisions on memberships.
“It’s easy to judge now and say its a bad decision, but I think in the future, we’ll look back and say it was the right thing at the right time,” said Penrod.
Some of the new programs being introduced in the upcoming year at the Y include youth and adult basketball leagues, adult softball, and youth and adult volleyball.
Penrod says membership fees will not immediately change, but future changes are being discussed. He says there are multiple discussions taking place concerning what the “Y” will do with the current pool.