ONTARIO - Due to declining membership and sluggish financials, the West End Ontario-Montclair YMCA facility will close Feb. 1 after 67 years in operation.
The 21,000-square-foot building at 215 W. C St. has been losing money for the past five years, officials said.
About 14 employees will either be terminated or transferred when the facility shuts down.
"We've been running at a loss every month ... it's been a trickle down type of thing and we've been trying to hold it together as long as we can," said Tim Walborn, WestEnd YMCA's branch director.
West End YMCA, which is an association of several YMCA branches in the Inland Valley, has operated the facility in downtown since 1945.
The building has been getting more expensive to maintain in recent years and has about $100,000 in yearly maintenance fees.
"Like many businesses and other nonprofit organizations in the area, the Ontario-Montclair YMCA has been adversely affected in recent years by the economic downturn," said Debra Anderson, president and CEO of the West End YMCA.
West End YMCA officials said they began to see a drop in membership when the economy started to struggle in 2008.
The association in the 1990s had about 1,000 members, but now has about 575 monthly or yearly members. It also had a 40 percent drop in membership over the past three years, Walborn said.
The facility would need about 500 new members to break even.
After the closure, West End YMCA members will able to use the Scheu Family YMCA of Upland and the Chino Valley YMCA facilities for free for two months.
"After that, the next four months they'll be charged the current (Ontario-Montclair YMCA) fee, then they'll have to transfer their membership to either facility," Walborn said.
Once the Ontario facility closes, Walborn will begin organizing files and records that will either be stored or taken to the Upland YMCA.
The building's initial structure was built in 1945 and included meeting rooms, offices, a gym and downstairs' locker room. More offices, cafeteria, chapel room and large meeting room were added in 1965.
The Ontario Lion's and Kiwanis clubs as well as the Community Christian Fellowship and Living Truth in Love Ministries, both based in Ontario, utilize West End YMCA's rooms. The churches will be able to continue conducting services for six month, but the Kiwanis and Lion clubs will have to stop their meetings by March.
West End YMCA will continue to offer all off-site programs, including child care programs at two Ontario elementary schools as well its Silver Stars Senior Transportation.
"I've been coming here since I was a teenager," said Rene Arreola, 39, of Chino, who plays pickup basketball games in the gymnasium four days a week.
"It's a loss for everyone, a lot of the same guys come here and you get to know them too."
The West End YMCA is an association of YMCA branches that serves Chino, Chino Hills, Ontario, Montclair, Upland, Rancho Cucamonga and Fontana.
Reach Canan via email, call her at 909-987-6397 ext. 425, or find her on Twitter @ChinoValleyNow.