Skaneateles: SRCT, YMCA enter into Community Center agreement

Members of the Skaneateles Community Center will now have more options for maintaining healthy lifestyles.

The Auburn YMCA-WEIU and the Skaneateles Recreational Charitable Trust have entered into a partnership to manage the Skaneateles Community Center.

"It is the start of an exciting new chapter here at the Skaneateles Community Center," said Matt Major, director of the Skaneateles Parks and Recreation Department.

The town of Skaneateles has been operating the Skaneateles Community Center on behalf of the Skaneateles Recreational Charitable Trust since 2001. In August 2009, the town of Skaneateles voted to discontinue the operation of the center.

According to the terms of the agreement, the Skaneateles Recreational Charitable Trust will retain ownership of the facility and the Auburn YMCA-WEIU will manage it. The facility will operate as the Skaneateles YMCA and Community Center effective Aug. 1.

"This is a reason to celebrate," said Bill Allyn, a trustee of the Skaneateles Recreational Charitable Trust. "The partnership brings together two great organizations only seven miles apart. With reciprocal membership privileges, members will now have access to two outstanding facilities, for one membership fee."

According to a press release from Auburn YMCA-WEIU Chief Executive Officer Kurt Kramer and SRCT President Charlie Wallace, the two organizations began discussions last fall, noting similarity in their community-centered missions and congruence in programs like aquatics, youth activities and wellness.

Representatives of the YMCA and SRCT felt the partnership would greatly enhance services to members of both organizations.

While the Y and the SCC each have pools and workout facilities, each has unique services that complement the other. The Y has racquetball courts and gymnasium space; the SCC boasts an ice rink and state-of--the-art aquatic facility.

The arrangement is also attractive because functions like accounting and back office services can be shared, producing economies of scale for both organizations. The Y will bring the backing of a national association, the YMCA of the USA, to benefit the SCC. This includes experts in program planning, facility design and operating systems.

"The entire region will be better served. Working with the 151-year old YMCA will bring stability to SCC operations, and ensure long-term viability," Allyn said.

The YMCA is committed to continuing the great variety of programming Major and his staff have nurtured over the past ten years.

An integration team comprised of members from the Auburn YMCA-WEIU and the Skaneateles Recreational Charitable Trust has been assembled. It has created a detailed timetable to address the multiple items needing resolution to ensure a smooth transition by Aug. 1.

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