(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The downtown YMCA officially closed their doors on Wednesday afternoon.
It was an emotional day as the downtown facility has served for 42 years of lifelong membership and Christian values.
"Well I think anytime that you end a chapter in something, it does tug at your heart strings," says Sue White, the CEO of the YMCA in St. Joseph. "There are a lot of memories. I was a college intern here years ago."
Earlier this year, the YMCA board came to the difficult decision to stop operations at the downtown location on October 1. As the cost to operate and the ability to grow membership and programs for the long term was not feasible.
One member who was previously on the board, has been involved with the downtown "Y" since the very beginning. He was the last member to leave the facility.
"It's a sad day," said Ron Barbosa. " I had the opportunity to coach my grandson, both of them. Saturday morning soccer and basketball. And them my grand-daughter became a swimmer and was on teh Baracuda's team. And she would practice down here to learn how to swim."
Sue White mentions that although the downtown facility is closing, the friendships remain strong beyond the walls.
White also added that the board is continuing efforts to create a future for the downtown location.
"I think it's important to remember the volunteers that spent countless hours on helping determining a next step for this YMCA, and will ultimately re-create the vision for the future."
The Campus Family YMCA will remain open, as members are encouraged to visit that facility which is located in the North Village.