NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Over 200 people attended a meeting Tuesday night with Mayor Megan Barry, the CEO of YMCA, and other city leaders to hear about plans to turn a current YMCA into a Metro park and community center.
The Northwest Family YMCA located in Bordeaux is a 45,000 square foot facility. At least 6,000 square feet isn’t being used right now.
YMCA CEO Dan Dummermuth told News 2 there aren’t enough members to generate the revenue they need to keep the facility open long-term. Instead, the organization pays hundreds of thousands of dollars each year keeping the doors open.
Starting in April, the Y put together a task force to look at how they could sustain the location.
After months of conversation, they went to Metro leaders and asked that they help take over the facility.
“So many people use this place,” Mayor Barry told News 2. “It’s a great place in Bordeaux, so we were really excited when the Y came to us and said, ‘Hey, do you want it?’ And we said yes.”
Still, members who showed up to the meeting wore shirts saying, “Stop Dumping On Us and Bordeaux” and held signs saying “It City for Some.”
They worry about their memberships and the services they receive at the YMCA.
“It’s awful, and it’s almost like you come home and you don’t have a home anymore,” Dolores Montgomery told News 2. She has taught at the Northwest YMCA for 15 years.
Montgomery says there were no meetings in advance and no word that a change was in progress.
“It seems like it’s being done backwards,” she said.
Dummermuth says the Y isn’t able to serve the community as well as it could.
“There’s a multitude of programs that we can go deeper with and do more of that will have more impact in the community with Metro and other partners.”
Mayor Barry said she wants community input on how the 6,000 square feet of unused space should be used.
DeCosta Hastings, the Metro councilman for Bordeaux district, says he’s going to make sure Metro keeps its word.
“I’m going to make sure our community is involved and that we hear the process and that everything that is needed for this community still stays,” Hastings said.
The Mayor and the YMCA will present their plan to the Parks Department on Aug. 1. If approved, the takeover transition will take about a year.