The YMCA of Greater Michiana is partnering with South Bend Venues Parks and Arts by using the O’Brien Fitness Center to try and continue offering YMCA programs in the area. The Y announced about one month ago it would be closing its South Bend location for good due to financial struggles worsened by the pandemic.
Officials said members of the O’Brien/YMCA Partnership will have access to group fitness classes, childcare, and the Silver Sneakers program for seniors.
YMCA of Greater Michiana Board President Mitt Drew said the O’Brien Center allows the Y to continue providing programs to the community.
“The O’Brien Center is a short-term solution," he said. "It is consistent with our objectives to partner with the community as we sort through these larger and historic issues that the Y in South Bend has been facing.”
Tom Cooper is a longtime YMCA member and has led several rallies pushing for the South Bend location to reopen its doors. He said the O’Brien Center doesn’t have a swimming pool and isn’t large enough to serve all the local Y members.
“It’s not even close to good enough," he said. "We do not believe that it can sufficiently take care of the members who have kept their commitment.”
The O’Brien Center is currently undergoing renovations to increase space and upgrade locker rooms. The center is remaining open during the renovations. Existing members will be able to start using the center on July 6th.