Downtown YMCA Closing Pool, Forcing Members To Swim Elsewhere

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- A sign at the YMCA's Downtown Topeka Branch informs members it's pool is closing down this Friday, May 23rd.

Topeka CEO Charlie Lord did not return calls from 13 news, but told the Topeka Capital Journal it was a cost cutting measure, saving the branch $200,000 a year...

Long time member and swimmer Jeff Bodine is not in favor of the move, saying, "It's the only lap lane pool for those of us that like that. They told us to use the other ones but they just aren't set up the same way."

While the "Y" still has pools at its North Topeka and Southwest locations, members say not everyone can make the trip, creating immediate concerns. "I think it is going to hurt the elderly because they always tell me how much they love it," said Jason Daniels. "It's going to hurt the neighborhoods and the kids because it gives the community something to do and keeps the children off the streets."

The downtown "Y" has served the community for over 100 years, creating life long memories and memberships. After learning of the pools fate, some members believe not enough was done to save it.

"This was an executive decision and they didn't even speak to the members. There is more to raising funds than just memberships, there are a lot of high ranking people that come here and then there's people like me that have ideas," said Bodine.

YMCA officials told the paper they have not ruled out the idea of re-opening the pool in the future.


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