Updated: Jun 15
NAPERVILLE, ALONG WITH TWO OTHER Y CENTER LOCATIONS WILL NOT REOPEN
The YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago announced today that it must make the painful decision to permanently close the Kroehler Family YMCA effective June 1, 2020. The Kroehler Family Y is one of three centers that will not reopen - the other two locations are Lattof YMCA in Des Plaines and the Leaning Tower YMCA in Niles. The closures are necessary to safeguard the financial stability of the overall association so that it can continue to serve families and youth across the Chicagoland area.
“The overwhelming stress that the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has put on the global economy has also put an enormous strain on our organization. We’ve reached the point where we are no longer able to sustain these centers during and after the pandemic,” said Richard Malone, President and CEO, YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago.
The three facilities have been operating at a loss for several years prior to the coronavirus outbreak, mainly due to the rising costs of maintaining the aging buildings that house the operations. Consequently, the centers have experienced declining membership and program enrollment in recent years. The Kroehler Family YMCA building located at 34 S. Washington Street has reached the end of its serviceable life. It requires millions of dollars in repairs and improvements, after having received significant capital investments over the last five years.
“We have always done everything we can to keep the Kroehler Family YMCA open because we know how much the Naperville community values the Y’s unique and family-centered programs and services. That is what has made this a painful decision for us. But the sad reality is we can no longer afford to operate the center at its loss rate,” added Malone.
The association temporarily closed the doors of all of its 17 membership centers, five overnight camps, and dozens of extension sites on March 16 to help contain the spread of the coronavirus. With suddenly vanishing revenues, the nonprofit association stands to lose many millions of dollars that have severely restricted its financial flexibility. The organization has considered fundraising for the affected locations but concluded that forecasted funds would not be enough to prevent the closures.
Once facilities reopen, Kroehler Family Y members will be offered a three-month complimentary membership to the Fry Family YMCA located six miles away at 2120 95th Street. The spacious center offers family locker rooms, two basketball courts, group exercise studios, an eight-lane 25-yard pool, and ample parking. Program participants who have already enrolled or paid for any upcoming programming at Kroehler will receive a full refund.
The Y remains committed to families and youth in Naperville. In addition to the Fry Family YMCA, the Y already operates Safe ‘n Sound, a popular and robust child care and camp program that will continue to be offered at local schools in Naperville. Existing partnerships with the Naperville Park District, Artful Impact, The Alive Center, and Kids Matter will continue uninterrupted.
“While it is with great sadness that the Y is leaving our home at Kroehler, we ask that the community try to focus on the positive future ahead and the new opportunities that will come about as a result of this transition. We hope it will allow the City of Naperville to continue to build towards its Comprehensive Master Plan for the downtown area and that the potential new use of the Kroehler site will continue to pay dividends for the entire Naperville community for years to come. We thank all of our Kroehler Family Y members, program participants, and supporters for their continuous support over the years and for their understanding as we move forward with this difficult but necessary closure,” said Malone.
About the YMCA OF METROPOLITAN CHICAGO
The YMCA of Metro Chicago is an association of 14 Y centers, five overnight camps, and dozens of extension sites located in the city and across the suburbs. We serve more than 200,000 members annually and help children, families, and communities learn, grow, and thrive through programs that promote academic readiness, character development, violence prevention, and fitness and healthy living. Our impact is felt every day when an individual makes a healthy choice, when a mentor inspires a child, and when a community comes together for the common good. Learn about how the Y is working for a better us at ymcachicago.org