- Associated Press - Sunday, April 6, 2014

ALEXANDRIA, La. (AP) - The Turner Street YMCA has run out of cash and ceased operations.

The Town Talk reported (http://townta.lk/PdM6JH) the facility has been a fixture in Alexandria since opening in 1967.

Its board of directors announced the closing this past week.

The City Park YMCA, which has an after-school program for youngsters, will remain open.

“As a board, we remain committed to the mission of the YMCA in central Louisiana,” board Chair Sid McDaniel said. “If that means a scaled-down form that focuses on youth services for now, that is the direction in which we will go,” he said.

Board members made a last-minute public plea for donations in March to keep the Turner Street branch from closing. The facility has two pools, a size gym and a workout room.

About $150,000 was needed to keep the facility operating through the remainder of 2014.

Board members said they had hoped the infusion would buy time to make improvements and create a new business plan to attract new members.

They still hope donations can be found to reopen the Turner Street site.

“We see this decision as the final call to action for the Alexandria community if it wants to save the YMCA’s services at Turner Street,” McDaniel said.

McDaniel said the board is considering what to do with property from the Turner Street location. Proceeds from their sale would go toward to pay outstanding debts. The YMCA’s youth programs would get whatever money remains.

Hard times have stricken the YMCA in central Louisiana mostly because of the loss of two main sources of revenue - membership fees and funding from the United Way.

When the YMCA’s Gamburg branch on Scott Street in downtown Alexandria closed in November 2013, the YMCA lost nearly 70 percent of its local members.

In December, the board was informed that it would no longer receive $4,000 a month in funding from the United Way of Central Louisiana.

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