The YMCA of Greater Dayton has agreed to sell its Beavercreek facility to the Dayton Raiders Swim Club, citing losses of $1.1 million in recent years and costly capital improvements.
Officials said at the same time the YMCA was considering selling the property at 560 Grange Hall Road, the Dayton Raiders Swim Club was looking for a place it could use more often than the pool at Wright State University.
It had not been the intention of the YMCA - which has 12 other area locations in the Dayton area - to sell, but Tim Helm, president and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Dayton, said the Beavercreek facility had lost $1.1 million over the last four years and had put $600,000 into capital improvements and repairs into the building.
“While the Beavercreek Y facility is unsustainable and further subsidy of the facility would only jeopardize our services association-wide, we’re pleased to have found a community organization that will put this facility to good use,” Helm said.
The Lofino Family YMCA, which opened in 1986 with its 30,000-square-foot building, will cease operations April 22 and the swim club will take over May 1.
The approximately 70 employees, including seven full-time staff members at the facility, will be considered first priority for other jobs throughout the YMCA system, according to Helm.
While Helm would not reveal the selling price, he did say the Y was able to eliminate all of its debt on the building, which rose to $1.1 million just a few years ago.
“We were trying to do everything we could to make it work,” Helm said. “There was no plan to sell the building, and we weren’t going to leave it empty.”
Since the building was never officially up for sale, not many of the 1,300 members knew what was happening.
“I got a letter today saying it was sold,” said Julie Jones, 34, who uses the facility even though she lives between Cedarville and Yellow Springs and it takes her up to a half hour to get there. “I like the pool, and the child care. I guess it was out of our hands.”
Jones said she would now use the Xenia Y or the Kettering Rec Center for her swims.
“Three years ago, we did a study and there were 22 competing facilities in the area, including the Kettering Rec Center (about six miles west),” Helm said. “We tried to raise $2 million for our facility, but only raised $100,000. Then the Raiders came along.”
The Raiders Swim Club grew out of the old Dayton Dolphins, founded in the 1950s, and presently has about 180 members. It trains at several area pools, but mostly at Wright State over the last 30-some years.
“This is a great opportunity for us,” said Raiders Swim Club CEO Kevin Weldon. “It should help us increase the size of our organization to 250 or so. We might even bring back the Masters team.”
The Beavercreek pool can be configured for eight lanes at 25 yards or six lanes at 25 meters.
Most members of the swim club are 6-18 years old.
Weldon said there might be an opportunity to keep the building open at certain hours for memberships of those not on the swim team. Helm said displaced members can use other Y facilities for free in the next two months.
The before and after school childcare programs through the Beavercreek School district, YMCA summer day camp and YMCA youth sports programs will remain in intact, according to Helm.
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