As part of a realignment of its facilities in the urban core, the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati will close the Williams branch in East Walnut Hills in August. Also, although the YMCA will continue some programs at the Melrose branch in Walnut Hills, it also will end general membership services there.
Both changes are effective Aug. 22, YMCA officials said.—-
The Melrose branch in Walnut Hills will continue to host the YMCA's Community Services, Black and Latino Achievers, Mentoring Center and Child Development Services programs.
Melrose and Williams members will be able to transfer their membership to any YMCA branch.
The decision-making process for the realignment included a review of factors such as declining levels of membership and program participants, overlapping membership bases, the age and design of the buildings and others.
Participation in programs at the Melrose YMCA has declined 50 percent in the past four years, while the Williams YMCA had a 29 percent decline in membership over the past three years, officials said.
Other YMCA facilities in the urban core — including the Carl H. Lindner YMCA in the West End, the R.E. Lindner YMCA in Norwood and the Central Parkway YMCA downtown — are unaffected by the changes.
“These are difficult decisions.We have wrestled with the future of Williams and Melrose for years,” said Sandra Berlin Walker, the YMCA's president and CEO, in a prepared statement.
“These two buildings simply no longer provide the opportunity to deliver the vibrant experiences that all Y members deserve, especially our members in the city core,” she added. “That is why we made these most difficult decisions.”