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Lakewood Y community forum at 6pm this evening

As we posted about here a few months ago, the YMCA of the Triangle has backed away from its initial position of closing the Lakewood Y facility. However, controversy over the plans has continued as the Triangle Y organization -- a cross-county organization formed a few years ago when Durham's YMCA merged with the much-larger Raleigh foundation -- has floated a proposal to sell the Lakewood facility and then lease back a portion of the space for a Y facility.

The latter proposal hasn't sat well with the Committee to Save the Lakewood Y, a community group recently honored with the Independent Weekly's 2007 Citizen Award. Besides concerns over the transparency of the process and the level of community involvement, it seems natural to be worried that the Y may be using this approach as a way to take one more step back from a long-term commitment to the Lakewood operation. The CSLY folks have intimated that YMCA of the Triangle's long-term goal may well be to raise capital through the building sale to focus on adding a Y to serve (fast-growing and more-affluent) South Durham, with the fear that Lakewood is left languishing and without sufficient investment.

Tonight, Durham YMCA board members are hosting a community forum on what the Y is calling the "repurposing" of the Lakewood facility. The forum begins at 6 p.m. at the Lakewood Y. We'll have an update after the meeting on what transpires.



Whenever the word "repurposing" is used, you should always be afraid... be very, very afraid.

M. Sugg


I've been meaning to thank you for your insightful and entertaining contributions to BCR. I don't like the thought of being afraid. Kevin caught the correct angle in his writeup. The Y management (boards, adminstration & combination of the two) have been playing what appears to be a shell game with us. We ask for information as basic as who is on various boards governing the Durham Y, and who is involved in their task force to assess the needs and future of the Lakewood Y. Guess what? Half answers, and incomplete responses. We asked questions at the last Open Forum held in September, and were promised responses....Guess what? Jennifer Nelson (their spokesperson) nor Doug McMillan, executive director, have gotten back as promised. We are at the point of having to take minutes at tonight's meeting for fear that selective memory will again prevent promised follow-up. Where's the little white ball now?

We, as a community, must join together and provide thoughtful pressure to these folks. The Y needs to stop being acting like a typical politician. Please join us at the public meeting tonight. We need to show our strength by having strong attendance.

M. Sugg

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