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Allegheny

Pittsburgh YMCA to close three centers in August

| Monday, July 9, 2018, 10:30 p.m.
YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh President Kevin Bolding discusses the nonprofit's plans to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy during a news conference at the Allegheny YMCA in Pittsburgh's North Side on Wednesday, May 9, 2018.
Tribune-Review
YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh President Kevin Bolding discusses the nonprofit's plans to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy during a news conference at the Allegheny YMCA in Pittsburgh's North Side on Wednesday, May 9, 2018.

The YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh plans to close its Penn Hills, Western Area and Wilmerding branches at the end of August as part of an effort to regain financial solvency and exit Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the nonprofit organization’s CEO told employees by email Monday.

In the memo sent to YMCA employees, Kevin Bolding, the cash-strapped organization’s president and CEO, wrote that he regretted making the “difficult decision” to close the branches, but said doing so was part of a plan that “should allow our Y to exit the bankruptcy process soon.”

Bolding emphasized that the closures are “in no way a reflection on our staff.”

The 164-year-old organization has scheduled a news conference Tuesday morning at its Homewood-Brushton YMCA to provide an update on its reorganization plan.

When reached by phone late Monday, a spokesperson for YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh said she could neither confirm nor deny the specifics of any restructuring plans.

Tuesday’s announcement will include a discussion about actions the nonprofit is taking “to get our finances all in order,” YMCA spokeswoman Pamela Haley said.

The umbrella organization is “still committed to the Penn Hills, Wilmerding and Western Area communities and will continue delivering important programs and services outside of the physical presence of these facilities,” Bolding said in the memo obtained by the Trib on Monday.

In early May, Bolding announced publicly that the nonprofit was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. It owed more than 200 creditors between $10 million and $50 million and had about $75 million in assets, bankruptcy filings show.

Its first major cost-cutting move was to close the YMCA branch on Fifth Avenue in Downtown Pittsburgh, for an estimated savings of about $1 million a year. The branch had about 2,000 active members.

Bolding said the organization’s remaining health and wellness centers, day and resident camps, before- and after-school care locations and off-site programs will continue to operate as usual.

He expressed plans to hold community meetings this summer to hear from those impacted.

“From those discussions, the YMCA and our partners will determine how to support critical needs through programs and services outside of the physical branch location,” Bolding wrote.

The three YMCA locations slated for closure include: Penn Hills YMCA at 11817 Frankstown Road; Western Area YMCA at 195 Montour Run Road in Coraopolis; and Wilmerding YMCA at Memorial Field.

Last week, YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh asked a judge to dismiss its bankruptcy case, court records show. A hearing on the motion was scheduled for July 25.

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