YMCA board members plan for future without eastside location

Talks of the Mankato Family YMCA expanding and adding a second location have been in the works since 2017.
Published: Oct. 28, 2022 at 4:47 PM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - The Mankato Family YMCA will not be opening a second location.

This decision by the Y’s Board of Directors comes after years of planning for a possible east-side location.

“This decision to not expand to the east side will preserve the Y that you know,” said Executive Director for the Mankato Family YMCA, John Kind. “And we’ll make sure that we’re here to serve the community moving forward.”

Talks of the Mankato Family YMCA expanding and adding a second location have been in the works since 2017.

But on Thursday, the Mankato Y announced it will not create an eastside facility.

“Well, I’m one of those people that’s disappointed,” lamented Board President for the Mankato Family YMCA, Matt DuRose. “And so, one of the things that we just say is that this doesn’t mean that the future of the YMCA comes to a halt. Everybody at the YMCA is committed to ensuring that we have the best programs and the best membership experience available.”

Kind says that a former Shopko building was on hold for YMCA expansion -- but the board of directors say the Y’s finances cannot supply that location, at this time.

“We don’t need a big new building to do that,” said Kind. “We just need program directors with a heart for serving people, and we can have space that we rent or have donated to us to run those programs,”

They say that since the Y is a non-profit organization, its dependency on donations, pledges, and membership couldn’t match the prices for new building maintenance, equipment, staffing, and more.

“Really, what it came down to is the finances,” said DuRose. “If we can’t make it financially stable and work, and keep the YMCA financially stable, then it’s just not a good project for us at this time.”

The Mankato Y raised its monthly membership rates in September.

Now, an adult membership is $49, and a family pack is $60 -- not including joining fees.

Kind says most of the money raised for the expansion was from community-organization pledges, which cannot be used for anything other than a second location.

“We hadn’t actually received the cash funds for expanding to the east side,” explained Kind. “So, there isn’t a bunch of money sitting in a bank waiting for us to expand.”

Now, the Mankato Y will move forward with a new strategic plan.

Based on a community needs assessment from June of this year, the Y plans to fulfill other community demands.

“A lot of it had to do with programs for eight to 18-year-olds, after-school care, childcare, and mentoring,” said DuRose. “Some of it is the Life Center, weights, and workout facilities and gyms.”

And like a workout - always having a goal in mind.