The Rochester, Minnesota community is losing another staple in the downtown area.  Members of the Rochester Area Family YMCA received the disheartening letter that the large building on 1st Avenue would be closing on January 31st, 2022.

...the Y has determined that to meet community needs, expand our mission, focus on providing programs and services in the Rochester community in convenient and accessible locations, we must close our Rochester Family YMCA facility. The last day the Rochester Y building will be open is January 31, 2022. - YMCA of the North

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Rochester, Minnesota YMCA building to close at the end of January 2022

I got quite a few messages sent to me this morning letting me know about the letter that was sent to members of the Rochester Area Family YMCA.  I have a bit of connection to this place and worked there as a fitness instructor and the Marketing Director until the YMCA of the North acquired the organization.  I was the one who wrote the press releases and managed all of the marketing prior to that so today was a bit surreal as I was asking for clarification and more details on the latest rumor.

According to the press release sent by Joan Schimml, Senior Director of Communications, Community Relations and Marketing for YMCA of the North, the current facility in Rochester is oversized and operationally inefficient.

The pandemic has affected the Rochester Y and other Ys across the country on how best to effectively and sustainably operate to meet the community’s needs. Similar to organizations across the globe, Ys need to transform.

 

The current Rochester YMCA facility is oversized and operationally inefficient. The Y model of a large fitness center needs to evolve and the YMCA is focused on how best to help all in the community to learn, grow and thrive. - YMCA of the North

 

Jessica Williams
Jessica Williams
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Additional information from YMCA of the North on the closing of the Rochester YMCA facility

The YMCA Early Childhood Learning Center - this will remain open.

The Y Tots program - this is being moved to the YMCA Early Childhood Learning Center beginning January 19.

Jessica Williams
Jessica Williams
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What does the future look like for the Rochester YMCA?

“We know that to best serve our community – collaboration is vital.  We look forward to examining opportunities to partner with organizations in our community to make a difference in people’s lives.” - Glen Gunderson, president of the YMCA

According to the press release, "the YMCA has met with leaders from across the Rochester area to identify gaps and how the Y can help fulfill these community needs such as family and youth camp and sustainability programs; wellbeing services; and youth social services and outreach including mentoring, homelessness prevention and more with partners including the University of Minnesota Rochester, Rochester Public Schools, Olmsted County Parks and the City of Rochester."

Jessica Williams
Jessica Williams
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Will summer camp, swimming lessons, and sports still be provided by the Rochester YMCA in 2022?

I know a lot of parents that utilized the Rochester Area Family YMCA for summer camp options throughout the years and I did ask Joan Schimml if this would be a program that is continued in some capacity in the Rochester, Minnesota area.  When I hear an answer on that, I'll update the story and have the news up on my Facebook page - Jessica On The Radio.

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