DANBURY, Conn. -- Danbury patrons of the Boughton Street branch of the YMCA will be traveling a bit farther to swim laps, work out in the gym or shoot hoops.
The Boughton Street facility, located off Main Street in downtown Danbury, will close for good on Friday, July 25.
"This week, the board of directors of the Regional YMCA of Western Connecticut has reluctantly concluded that it is necessary to make significant changes to the organization and effectively consolidate how we deliver our services," said a letter from the YMCA to members. "At this time, it is simply no longer financially feasible to maintain and operate two fitness centers that are just 6 miles apart."
The Regional YMCA of Western Connecticut also runs the Greenknoll branch at 2 Huckleberry Hill Road, Brookfield. Members will be allowed to use that facility.
"The decision to consolidate was not an easy one. We know that the YMCA is an important part of your life; therefore, we would like to make your transition to the Greenknoll YMCA as easy as possible," said the letter from Marie Miszewski, president and CEO of the Regional YMCA of Western Connecticut.
Maura Keenan, vice president of advancement at the Regional YMCA of Western Connecticut, said closing the center is a move to "reposition, restructure, reallocate our resources" and said the Y remains committed to its 5,000 members from the greater Danbury area.
"The building will be put on the market for sale," Kennan said. "St. Peter's Church has right of first refusal for sale - but we have not been in contact with them yet."
According to the letter, this is what the closure means for members:
- Y memberships will continue at the Greenknoll branch at the current rate until Feb. 1 or the expiration date.
- Anyone enrolled in a summer swim program who wishes to continue the class should call for availability at Greenknoll.
- The Y is working to move as many other programs as possible to Greenknoll.
- The Y will prorate any program refunds.
- To cancel a membership, contact the Y know in writing by July 23.
- Call the Boughton Street branch at 744-1000 or the Greenknoll Branch at 775-4444 for help or information.
"Please know that every effort has been made to keep Boughton Street operating as long as possible," said Sharon Dornfeld, a member of the board of directors and a Boughton Street member. "I have paid close attention to the financials of the Y as a whole, and to the deliberation process that led to this decision. Although very sad, I am satisfied that there is simply no alternative."
"I will miss Boughton Street but hope to see you all in the future at Greenknoll," she said in the statement.
The YMCA mounted a campaign in 2005 to keep the Boughton Street branch open. "We have enjoyed an additional nine years," Dornfeld said.
The downtown location was popular for its 20-yard, five-lap lane pool and gymnasium, which offered exercise and fitness classes as well as youth sports.