SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - The doors of the Sarasota YMCA will be closing on September 13th at both of their locations on South Euclid Avenue and Potter Park.
Dwindling membership is to blame. But until then, members and staff say they will do all they can to keep that from happening.
Sam Millar is a judo instructor at the Y who has spent most of her life there.
“I’m desperate for ideas and for people to come together to do something about it, it means so much more than just a place to exercise," said Millar. "It really is the programs, they have been beautiful and life changing”
The Sarasota Y didn’t tell us exactly how much it would take to save their facilities but in 2017 there was a loss reported of over 1.5 million dollars. Their plan right now is to sell both properties to pay off the more than 2 million dollar mortgage.
Interim CEO Steve Bourne did not want to comment on Tuesday, but last week at a press conference he talked about the financial struggles.
“About 12 years ago we had 12,500 members. We now have 6,500 members between the two branches," said Bourne. "In that 10 years, a huge number of commercial gyms, those have all taken away memberships.”
Staff and members say they are upset because they were told about this closing without enough time to rescue the Y. A town hall meeting will take place Wednesday night at 6pm at the Potter Park Y to talk about options with Bourne to save the facilities.
Millar says her grandfather, who recently passed away, was on the Y’s board since 1991. She is now speaking up for him.
“He would do everything in his power to save it, to him that was the staple of the city,” said Millar.