Local News

Lakewood Y's Members Pushing Hard to Keep Their Facility From Closing

Posted May 28, 2007 11:46 p.m. EDT
Updated May 29, 2007 5:30 a.m. EDT

— The Lakewood YMCA has been a fixture in its Durham neighborhood for 40 years, but now there's talk about closing it.

The people who want to keep the YMCA open are passing out flyers advertising a meeting Wednesday — placing them on bulletin boards, leaving them on cars and handing them out in person.

After the Lakewood Y’s board of directors announced it's considering closing the facility, it hosted an information session with members last week.

YMCA leaders say the Lakewood branch loses $400,000 every year, and the problem is twofold. The facility is old and needs a lot of improvement, they say, and membership is down.

The Lakewood branch has about 1,000 memberships at the Y, but fewer than half come regularly.

“The downtown YMCA in Durham is two miles away. from the Lakewood YMCA. That's a problem. You're within the footprint of another facility,” said Jennifer nelson of the YMCA.

Those who live in this area and have been going here for years, say they want to do everything they can to keep this Y open, however. It's been open since 1966.

“We're concerned with losing that valuable service, but we're also concerned (that) if there is no way to save the Y at all, what's going to go in there afterward,” said Frances Kerr of the group trying to save the Lakewood Y.

The group is hoping a community meeting Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Lyon Park Community Center will get everyone together to come up with another option.

“If they come up with a great alternative, we certainly want to hear it,” Nelson said.

And while the odds might not be in their favor, the group is going to try.