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Phoenix YMCA closing to make way for school

Residents and members of the South Phoenix YMCA attend a meeting about the facility's closure. (KTAR Photo/Corbin Carson)

PHOENIX -- The South Mountain YMCA is set to close its doors amidst controversy.

South Phoenix residents and community leaders had questions at a YMCA board meeting regarding the circumstances surrounding the upcoming closure of the branch. The facility, which opened in 1995, could be closed by late March.

Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox said even after the meeting there are still questions.

"It's very disappointing because the (YMCA) has a very good reputation, and many of us love to go to their facilities," Wilcox said, "but I think people and residents of Southside (Phoenix), think they were treated badly."

The building is being sold to the James Megellas Foundation with the intention of creating a school for disconnected youth, according to Jim Diaz, YMCA vice president of marketing.

"The closure is due to a competitive environment and declining membership," Diaz said.

The YMCA planned to maintain control of the fields that were donated, but the pool will be closed.

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