Moose Jaw YMCA to Hold Special Meeting

Robert Thomas

The pending closure of the Moose Jaw YMCA's (YMJ) 220 Fairford Street East location will be the subject of a special meeting on June 25th at 7pm at the Fairford St E location.

On their website, early Sunday morning YMJ posted a public notice of the membership meeting.
"At the request of some members the YMCA of Moose Jaw is calling a special meeting to present options under consideration for our health and fitness facilities, including the potential closure of 220 Fairford Street East," the website notice read.

From a confidential source, MJ Independent was able to obtain a copy of the blank petition, before being signed, that was submitted on or before May 28th, to request the meeting.

According to the source, 100 eligible members signed the petition.

"...the members in good standing signed below and fixed hereby Requisition the directors of YMCA of Moose Jaw Inc to schedule, call for and give due notice of a meeting  of members at the earliest opportunity and as required by law to discuss the business of planned cessation of operations at 220 Fairford Street East in Moose Jaw,Sk (activities and motions related) scheduling of the next annual general meeting; nominations to the Board," the member petition for the meeting read.

The source also claimed that members aware of the YMJ Board's plans are not in support of closing the 220 Fairford Street East location.

Under YMJ constitutional rules, a membership meeting must be called if 25 members in good standing sign a proper petition requesting a meeting. The constitution does not make provision for media to attend membership or board meetings, so it is unknown if media will be allowed entry.

The Moose Jaw YMCA has leased the Fairford Street location since its construction on 1972 as part of a 50 year lease. The facility allowed the Y to utilize the now closed indoor pool at the Natatorium and the outdoor Phyllis Dewar Pool in its programming.

When the Natatorium was closed, the Y was very vocal in lobbying for the new indoor pool to be built in Crescent Park, largely due to the adverse effects it would have on the Y's programming and long time viability. Ultimately, the new pool was built adjacent to the Kinsmen Arena on the corner of MacDonald Street and 9th Avenue NW.

As part of its annual reviews of its operations, the Y has identified problems (in 2015) with the Fairford Street location which need repairs and upgrades costing approximately $3 million.

Additionally, there are changing market factors in the local health and fitness sector which have impacted the Y's growth potential, a confidential report to the Y's board of directors stated.

The report also stated that the YMJ Board had three options cease operations at Fairford St E, spend $3 million to repair the building and bring it up to 21st Century standards or do nothing.
A  screen-captured copy of the petition letter is below.

Moose Jaw YMCA website notice 

MJ Independent first broke the story on the YMJ's plans in a story yesterday. Read it here. 

MJ Independent will do our best to keep you updated with any new developments on this story.