YMCA Buffalo Niagara today announced the sale of its building at 1317 Portage Road in Niagara Falls to the Niagara Gospel Rescue Mission. The sale will close in approximately 60 days and the Y will cease operations in the building May 31.
"The Y recognizes and appreciates the passion of the citizens who have rallied in support of the branch, but the Y reassures the community that it is committed to it and will continue to provide services to Niagara Falls," said Olin B. Campbell, president and CEO of YMCA Buffalo Niagara. "We feel the Rescue Mission has a good and viable plan for the reuse of the building for the greater good of the community."
Campbell added, "The Y is more than a building - it is a philosophy that emphasizes youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, and we do not have to be confined to a single branch building."
As stated publicly last year, the Y will replace the current facility with a series of locations and barrier-free program sites in order to provide state-of-the-art programming to the Niagara Falls community. Programs and services have already been successfully running at offsite locations since 2014 at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center and Abate Elementary School.
YMCA Buffalo Niagara has successfully delivered programming in this same fashion to the Lancaster-Depew community for 18 years - it is one of the association's most successful branches, albeit a virtual one.
Since YMCA Buffalo Niagara merged with the Niagara Falls Y in 2005, the Buffalo Niagara Y has invested more than $3 million in the branch and spent thousands of dollars on marketing in order to build the membership. Despite the best efforts of YMCA Buffalo Niagara, the Niagara Falls Y continues to operate at a substantial annual loss and it is impossible for the association to continue to absorb these losses, Campbell said.
Locally founded in 1852, YMCA Buffalo Niagara is a charitable, community-based organization committed to providing programs designed to build a healthy spirit, mind and body for all.
The YMCA's focus on health and wellness is reflected in the variety of programs it offers for all ages and abilities.
A not-for-profit organization, YMCA Buffalo Niagara serves more than 100,000 people annually through the six branches located throughout Western New York, YMCA Camp Weona, as well as at over 40 community-based program sites.
For more information, visit www.ymcabuffaloniagara.org.