SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - It’s been about a month since it was announced that the doors of the Sarasota Family YMCA fitness centers would shut down. Thursday, many in the community are celebrating that those doors will actually remain open.
The YMCA’s board has agreed on a plan with Dreamers Academy, Save Our Y, and Project Stoked.
“To have a leverage social impact that is much greater than our school and can serve alleviate some of the debt and liability that the Sarasota Y has incurred,” said Geri Chaffee, Founder of Dreamers Academy.
Dreamers Academy, a new dual language charter school, is planning on building their school behind the Y on South Euclid. Their plan is to have the school ready for next school year, and are working on the future.
“The next step is to get this thing signed,” she said.
Project Stoked is a non-profit that invests resources to organizations, in order to become profitable.
“We work out at the Y, we were traveling, and Anya [Adams] got the email saying it was going to close, and I thought this has to be a joke,” said Jon Graf, Co-Director of Project Stoked.
Graf and co-Director Anya Adams say they reached out to the board because they didn’t want to see their favorite place close. Now they’re helping by investing.
“It’s all about making sure the community has enough funding, gap funding that they can’t get other places to make little projects to big deals,” he said.
They hope to see the Y grow even more.
“Probably within a year’s time, this is going to be a world class gym,” said Graf.