Fresno YMCA shutting down

Efforts to keep Fresno's 121-year-old YMCA from closing have failed, officials said Tuesday.

The YMCA's national membership standards committee will recommend ending the charter of the financially beleaguered Central Valley YMCA, a Chicago-based spokesman said.

Spokesman Brad McDermott said the YMCA's national board of directors will vote on that recommendation during a meeting scheduled in three weeks.Quantcast

After a Tuesday morning conference call with national officials, the Central Valley YMCA board voted to close the downtown branch as of May 30 and sell the property to pay off vendors.

Other 'Y' activities, such as child care and Sierra camps, will continue to operate, said John Shehadey, president of the Central Valley 'Y's board.

Doug Sink, chief executive officer, will help close the aging downtown fitness center, Shehadey said.

Board members have written letters of resignation and were prepared to turn over operations to a new board if it would have helped the Central Valley YMCA keep its charter, Shehadey said. He said others were ready to step in as new board members, including civic and religious leaders H. Spees and G.L. Johnson.

There has been talk about opening a smaller "express 'Y' " somewhere in the area, Shehadey said.

He said membership has eroded over the years as residents moved north, away from the downtown center's location at Tuolumne and N streets.

McDermott would not discuss details of the charter termination but said the Fresno 'Y' failed to meet the requirements of the National Council of YMCAs.

The Modesto YMCA also recently closed. The building on McHenry Avenue is for sale.