The River Valley YMCA fitness and wellbeing center in Prior Lake, along with two other YMCA locations in the Twin Cities area, will not reopen to the public.
YMCA Chief Operating Officer Greg Waibel said that like other nonprofits and businesses, the COVID-19 pandemic has “taken a toll” on the YMCA.
“We have spent time determining how to best serve the needs of communities while also ensuring the Y’s sustainability today and into the future. As a result, three Y locations in the Twin Cities — downtown St. Paul, River Valley-Prior Lake, and Lino Lakes — will be reimagined as community response hubs. We will be engaging our community boards of these locations as well as the community and other partners to determine what critical necessities and services in healthy living, youth development and social responsibility will best serve their respective neighbors,” Waibel said.
Though unexpected, the changes are “necessary for the Y to remain sustainable and relevant for the near and long term. The YMCA’s mission and commitment to our community remains the same, and we look forward to continuing to serve our neighbors well into the future,” he said.
Food distribution and other existing services will continue to be provided at these locations.
An email sent to River Valley members notifying them of the closing noted that the Early Childhood Learning Center will remain open for families.
The River Valley center is located at 3575 North Berens Road NW.
“We wanted to share an update with you regarding the YMCA River Valley fitness and wellbeing center,” the email reads. “We are exploring how best we can serve as a community hub and not as the current fitness and wellbeing center. Because we are not reopening the fitness and wellbeing center, we are discussing what programs and services can best meet the needs of our diverse River Valley area today and tomorrow. With our community board and partners, we are determining what programs and partnerships in a YMCA community response hub designed to provide critical, life-saving necessities and services could benefit the local community. We will keep you apprised of what we discover during our process.”
Those with a membership to any of the closing locations are encouraged to switch to a new home fitness and wellbeing center nearby, such as the Burnsville, Eagan or Southdale locations for River Valley members. Members that choose a new home location will receive a free month of membership. Memberships may also be canceled, placed on hold or members can choose to donate their fees, it states.
“We want to thank you for your incredible support of the YMCA and we know that we are asking you to continue your membership with a new Y home location during a time when you are already experiencing a lot of changes due to the health and economic crisis happening in our world,” the email states. “Your commitment to the Y mission is critical and we hope that we will continue to be able to support your health and wellbeing needs.”