The YMCA of Greater Birmingham announces in an email to members this evening that the Vestavia Hills branch, located at 2086 Columbiana Road, will close effective August 30 of this year. The text of the announcement can be read in its entirety below:
Dear YMCA Vestavia Branch Members and Program Participants,
Built in 1988 as part of the SportsFirst fitness complex and purchased in 2005 by The YMCA of Greater Birmingham, the YMCA Vestavia Family Branch has touched the lives of many Y members, athletes, sports teams, swimmers, day campers, school children, active seniors, staff, and others in the Birmingham community over the years. Here, community members have experienced awesome workouts, made lifelong friends, and have enjoyed the sort of personal transformation for which the YMCA is known. They’ve overcome, for example, their fear of the water to learn how to swim. They’ve learned how to be physically well, how to pursue that wellness through exercise, diet, and spiritual groundedness. They’ve learned how to be motivated to achieve their goals.
But, over the past few years, we have experienced a notable decline in the use of these facilities and demand for the programs offered here. Of greater concern, the Vestavia YMCA facility currently faces extensive maintenance needs, which, in conjunction with the decline in use has led us to the prudent but difficult contemplation of the long-term viability of the Y’s presence in this location. Over the past year or more, the leadership of the YMCA of Greater Birmingham has conducted evaluations of all of our properties to determine what it will take to bring them into the future, to equip them to serve you in new and exciting ways, to continue to be a part of those personal transformations that make the Y so special.
From these evaluations, we have developed a five-year plan to invest more than $20 million in our facilities. After evaluating the portion of that investment that would be required to bring the Vestavia branch facilities up to both our expectations and municipal codes, and in recognition of the fact that we have several other branches close enough to be accessed by our Vestavia Y community with relative ease, we have made the difficult and painful decision to close the Vestavia YMCA location, effective August 30, 2019.
We regret having to close this branch. We know what this branch means to so many of you. But, know, that closing Vestavia will allow us to ensure a strong and vibrant YMCA for many years to come. We will be able to invest in our programs and facilities – including those geographically closest to you. While we reflect on the bonds of friendship and happy memories that are so precious to those of us who’ve spent time here, let us also be mindful of how this closure will open doors of happiness elsewhere.
Your Citywide YMCA of Greater Birmingham Membership gives you full-facility access to all eight of our other YMCA locations. We look forward to the excellent upgrades to both facilities and programs at them all. Thank you for your loyalty, your support of the YMCA Vestavia Branch through the years, and your understanding. We look forward to continuing to serve you far into the future.
President, Chief Executive Officer
The YMCA of Greater Birmingham