Grayslake YMCA to Close September 1

Citing the inability to expand, the Grayslake YMCA will close shop.

In what seems to be a surprise to many members of the , the location at 1850 E. Belvidere Road will close its doors September 1.

Members were notified by mail this week. The letter stated:

"The YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago continually assesses our facilities and programs to determine the best and most effective ways to positively impact our communities. The Grayslake YMCA currently operates out of a rented, storefront space. This presents several challenges, including the inability to expand in order to provide a pool or additional programming to support our mission. This is not the experience we wish to provide for our members."

For nine-year member Jason Wyckoff of Grayslake, it comes as a surprise. "There wasn't much notice, or any indication that we were aware of that this could happen," Wyckoff said.

"We never heard there were any problems. It just seems odd. It doesn't add up," he said.

Last spring Lindsey Aeverman of Grayslake shopped around for a fitness facility that would offer not only a place to work out, but also exceptional childcare and at an affordable price. Her family chose the YMCA and use it often.

"We just love it there," she said. "I can tell that the girls running the childcare area care a great deal for my kids. And, it was so convenient for us," Aeverman said.

Members of the Grayslake YMCA will be able to use the facility through August 31. Those who wish to transfer their membership to another YMCA location will receive two months of their membership free. 

Also, if members choose to transfer their membership to another YMCA on their own before Grayslake closes, members will receive one free month. 

The Grayslake YMCA is also offering open house events at the four closest YMCAs to the area.

  • Foglia YMCA, 1025 Old McHenry Road, Lake Zurich, Saturday, July 28, 9am–12pm
  • Hastings Lake YMCA, 1995 Grass Lake Road, Lindenhurst, Friday, August 3, 6–9pm
  • Buehler YMCA, 1400 West Northwest Highway, Palatine, Saturday, August 4, 9am–1pm
  • Lattof YMCA, 300 East Northwest Highway, Des Plaines, Saturday, August 4, 9am–2pm

In the statement the YMCA said "Our members are very important to us. We regret any inconvenience and hope you will choose to continue your Y of Metro Chicago membership at one of our other facilities in the area."

Aeverman said her family will try one of the other YMCA locations, but knows the convenience is not the same as the Grayslake location. "I may just have to start shopping around again," she said.

Stephanie July 09, 2012 at 07:33 PM
I know there are YMCAs in Vernon Hills and Waukegan that are not Metro Chicago. Sad to see this happen. I am a VH YMCA member and liked to use Grayslake every now and then. It was always clean and the staff were nice.
Jen R. July 11, 2012 at 04:57 AM
The "spin" the YMCA tried to put on this closing is so insulting. How will offering nothing to the people in this area better achieve their "mission"? Not everyone is looking for a pool and a climbing wall and members at this location knew these would never be an option. The space adjacent to this Y was vacant for years. With some investment it could have expanded and offered more programs, classes and fitness options. Instead, the Grayslake Y was an afterthought, at best, and all opportunities for improvement were squandered. I think I will take my business elsewhere – thanks anyway.
Sarah Pressly-James July 12, 2012 at 04:23 PM
Check out Apex Fitness if you want awesome personal relationships and great results - they offer child care, they are highly knowledgeable, and extremely focused on high quality service!
Wendy Rosen July 14, 2012 at 05:12 PM
My husband and I have been members of the Grayslake YMCA from the beginning. When the YMCA decided to close this facility due to a stated mission mismatch, I think they are being short-sighted - or not fully honest with us. The Grayslake YMCA has many long-term members who have successfully created a community there. This Y fills gaps in the community, and has many programs to build healthy mind, spirit and body - which fulills the YMCA mission. The YMCA's decision to close this facility leaves our neighborhood with a large void, and breaks up a close knit group of people. Sure we can find other gyms. But we won't find one with a strong mission, and solid core values. I had hoped that these values would have helped YMCA leadership choose to continue to provide these essential services, and not dismantle our community center.
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