Members demand YWCA pool in Winston-Salem stay open

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- The YWCA in Winston-Salem announced last week that it won't be reopening its swimming pool. It hasn't been in use since it was damaged during a flooding in the area last August. The organization held a town hall meeting Tuesday morning to discuss the decision with its members.

“The Y has now gone from three pools to four pools to now zero pools. How does that happen?" said Hal Boyle, a member.

Members of the YWCA said they came to the town hall meeting hopeful.

“I showed up because I thought it was going to be a type of meeting for planning to try and find dollar resources," said Oscar Pilson, a member.

The mood of the meeting shifted once members realized that there was nothing that could be done to save the pool.

“There's plenty of sponsors that haven't been tapped. The members have not been tapped. The community has not been tapped. Other cities are growing with their pools -- Clemmons and Greensboro. We need to keep this pool," Boyle said.

Greg Fagg, vice president of operations at the YWCA, said they've been debating this decision for years. He said it was a financial burden to maintain the aquatic center, especially after it flooded back in August.

“We've been losing revenue in that area ever since the building opened," he said.

That answer wasn't enough for some of the members.

"But to not even ask the partners and all of the members of the Y to be a part of a fundraiser and to give gifts. They said they'd reached out to different corporate partners, but none of the 50 persons in the meeting this morning had been approached for funding gifts at all," Pilson said.

YWCA officials said it's the responsibility of the organization and the board to make these decisions. The plan for the future of the pool area is to build an extended fitness area in the facility.

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