SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Today is the Ward Downtown YMCA’s final day in operation due to declining membership and high expenses.

Earlier this month, the Y declared the downtown location would be shut down by the end of the month.

Virginia Gimlen with the Y said the property is still on the market, but it can’t keep operating at a financial loss. 

“We once had a strong student population, for example, that worked out here, but the local universities have built up their fitness centers,” she said. “Most of the new apartments downtown, and the studios, have really nice gyms that the residents can work out in.”

People with membership are being encouraged to go across town to the Pat Jones YMCA.

Leaders with the YMCA have told OzarksFirst.com the goal is to try to shift as many employees as possible to other Y locations or help them find other job opportunities.