Two Lake County YMCA facilities set to shut down

October 3, 2012

Tricia Bobeda

Flickr/eagle102
Two YMCA facilities in Lake County will shut down at the end of the month.

YMCA centers in Vernon Hills and Waukegan will shut down at the end of the month.

Hal Catz is CEO of the Lake County Family YMCA and runs the two facilities in the Chicago suburbs.

He said declining membership and budget shortfalls are to blame for the closures.

"These issues have been plaguing the Y for the last several years," Catz said. "The board has been very much aware of them and taking action in a variety of ways to see if there might be a way to change the direction of the YMCA."

But Catz said attempts to boost membership and hold fundraisers haven't been enough to keep the centers open.

Y Members from the Lake County facilities will have options after the Oct. 31 closure, including transferring to neighboring facilities.

The Lake County centers will continue to offer childcare until Thanksgiving to give parents more time to find alternative care.

The shutdowns add to other YMCA closures in the Chicago area this fall.

A YMCA in the northern suburb of Grayslake closed in September.

And the Chicago Metro YMCA closed a member facility in the Austin neighborhood on Monday.

Chicago Metro YMCA CEO Dick Malone said the more than two hundred and fifty Westside residents who rely on the Austin YMCA for housing will not have to move.

"We’re very supportive of continuing affordable and supportive housing at the Austin YMCA," Malone said. "They will not see a change in their living situation.”

Malone said the Austin closure was prompted by an aging facility and decline in usage in the neighborhood.

The Austin YMCA had only about 175 members. Malone said that's only about one tenth the number found at many of the city's other YMCA facilities.