Costly repairs, lack of lifeguards, declining use forcing Quincy Family YMCA to close pool on Dec. 31
QUINCY — Repairs and updates expected to cost $3.5 million, the dwindling number of lifeguards and declining member use have forced the 14-member board of trustees at the Quincy Family YMCA to close pool permanently on Dec. 31.
Rick Shover, chief executive officer at the Quincy Family YMCA, said the pool was operated an annual loss of more than $120,000 each year. The lifeguard shortage forced the YMCA to reduce the number of hours the pool could be open.
Shover said the decision to close the pool was reached about a month ago. He said an analysis of the pool determined repairs were needed for the heating, ventilation and air conditioning unit and the roof because of degradation from chlorine and humidity during the 52 years it has been in operation.
“The usage (of the pool) has really dropped off over these last couple of years alone,” Shover said. “Add that to the national crisis of trying to hire lifeguards, and we only opened (the pool) about half the time. We would like to be open, but we cannot find lifeguards.”
Shover said the 25-yard six-lane pool will be replaced by moving the YMCA’s wellness center — including cardio equipment, weightlifting equipment and resistance machines — from the basement. He said the locker room also will be renovated.
Moving the wellness center upstairs also allows for the YMCA to expand its youth programming in the basement.
“It will be a much larger space and allow us to accommodate many kids,” Shover said. “We have a fantastic after-school program for kids. We also have an out-of-school day camp during the year when they’re out of school, and we have a summer camp which always has a waiting list. It’s been so popular.”
The pool was part of the Quincy Family YMCA building that was dedicated on June 7, 1970, and built at a cost of $1.3 million.
“It was not an easy decision,” Shover said. “We went back and forth. We talked a lot about it, but in the end, it was an obvious decision.
“It’s big news, but we’re really excited about it and what we’re going to be able to bring as far as youth programming and for our membership with this move.
Todd Moore, chairman of the Quincy Family YMCA Board of Trustees, said in a press release the YMCA is working with other organizations in Quincy that have pools to find a way of accommodating the facility’s current pool-using members.
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