South Bend Venues Parks & Arts discusses partnership for South Bend YMCA

Published: Jun. 15, 2020 at 9:59 PM EDT
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It's been less than a month since the South Bend/Mishawaka Y.M.C.A. closed it's doors.

On the same day the O'Brien Center opened the doors to their fitness center to their members, South Bend Venues Parks & Arts discussed opening those doors for Y.M.C.A. members.

"Of course we have the O'Brien Center which is the most like facility when you compare it to the 'Y'. It's a community based fitness program on kind of our idea to serve where gaps may exist in the community and ensure that everyone can access programs regardless of their background, their skills, or their abilities," said South Bend Venues Parks & Arts Director Aaron Perri.

Perri says the O'Brien Center can accommodate taking on new members after his department moved some office spaces to Howard Park.

He says a partnership with the 'Y' could better business too.

"Our business model needs a little bit of help. We have not quite reached economic sustainability through our operations alone at the O'Brien Center. By potentially adding new members through a partnership with the 'Y'. I think that would solve a couple problems at once," he said.

Lastly, he said this could offer more access to fitness programs and activities for members of both clubs.

"If you're a member of either the O'Brien Center or the 'Y', you would get access to both of our facilities. So that means unlimited fitness classes something we're not currently able to offer at the O'Brien Center. Unlimited access to our 'Child Watch' program which is brand new. It would give 'Y' or O'Brien members access to any Y.M.C.A. facility around the country," he said.

Those are just some of the ideas that could come out of this potential partnership.

Perri says the next steps between now and the next meeting will be agreeing on a membership fee and drafting an M.O.U. between the parks and the Y.M.C.A.