the Topeka Y facility

Update from the office of Glenn Haley

The YMCA is still here.

Many readers are starting 2023 with New Year’s resolutions, and we’re no different. Ours is simple: we will continue to serve the youth, families and seniors in our community. Despite the "For Sale" sign in front of our building, 3635 S.W. Chelsea Drive, we want you to know we plan to be here next year and beyond.

About that sign: Many people assume the Southwest YMCA facility is owned and operated by the YMCA of Topeka. In fact, the facility is operated by the Y, but the facility is leased to the Y through a bond. There was a period of time when the Y could not meet the lease payments, so the Y claimed bankruptcy.

But we exited bankruptcy court in 2021, which has freed us up to raise funds to purchase our facility. The sales process is still ongoing, and the YMCA is negotiating in a fiscally responsible manner.

We’ve also been steadily raising funds, so that when we are able to make an offer accepted by the trustee, we will still have funds left over to continue to enhance the facility. To date, we have raised $243,000 for capital improvements, almost half of which has been raised directly by our members.

But our needs are still great and hover around $650,000.

Our biggest challenges include needing to replace the roof, upgrading HVAC for the pool and common areas, improving the fitness floor and making locker rooms more accessible.

Be assured, though, despite these challenges, our members will tell you it’s the place to be for health and wellness. Families are enjoying quality child care and our new Kid Zone program where parents can drop off their children while they work out.

Individuals are meeting their goals in our health center and across over 50 land and water exercise classes. And our seniors are finding fellowship along with increased personal strength and health.

So, we’re still here to help you achieve your health and fitness goals this year and in years to come.

Research shows it takes about three months to achieve a healthy living goal. Focusing on a 12-week commitment is less daunting than a whole year, and you really can achieve significant outcomes in that shorter timeframe. Especially when you have trained staff who can help you reach your goals, the equipment you need to do so and a group of like-minded members to help cheer you on.

That’s what we have to offer.

I invite you to visit your Y today and see all that’s happening. We’re also offering a special “Fresh Start” three -month membership to get you up and moving. There’s no joining fee and other perks are included for a $65 saving.

I also encourage you to consider making a donation to keep your Y going strong in this community. I’d be happy to meet with individuals and groups who are interested in learning more. Just give me a call at the Y.

On behalf of our staff and board members, we wish you a healthy and safe 2023.

January 2nd, 2023