Springfield, MO

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The downtown Springfield building has been unable to sell since being listed last year.
The downtown Springfield building has been unable to sell since being listed last year.

Ward Downtown YMCA to close at month's end

Posted online

Ozarks Regional YMCA is closing its downtown gym that's been in operation for more than a century.

Kathryn Custer, CEO of the Springfield nonprofit, said via email the closure date for Ward Downtown YMCA, 417 S. Jefferson Ave., is scheduled March 31.

To date, Ozarks Regional YMCA has been unable to secure a buyer for the property that originally was listed for sale last summer at $4.5 million. Custer said the current list price is $2.5 million.

"We are working on the next phase and have several options we are considering," she said.

Officials with the nonprofit previously have said members who use the Downtown Ward YMCA would be able to transfer to other branches.

Constructed in 1913, the Italianate brick structure that houses the Ward Downtown YMCA comprises 62,000 square feet, including a 1971 addition. Its cost to build in 1913 was $100,000, the equivalent of $3 million today, Springfield Business Journal previously reported.

"We’ve had a decline in membership and a decline in usage for the past 10 years," Custer told SBJ last year. "It is a large, five-story building, and the needs that we have moving forward don’t match the space that we’re in.”

In Springfield, the YMCA also has the Pat Jones gym on East Republic Road. The Ozarks Regional YMCA additionally operates locations in Cassville, Dallas County, Hollister, Lebanon and Monett, as well as YMCA Camp Wakonda, according to its website.

Ozarks Regional YMCA ranked No. 2 this year on SBJ's list of the area's largest charitable nonprofits. The organization reported 930 local employees and a fiscal 2023 operating budget of $9.7 million.


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