LINCOLN COUNTY, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – Concerns over the future of two YMCAs in Lincoln County have been spreading following rumors of a potential sale.
The YMCA of Greater Charlotte has dozens of branches across the region, including the Lincoln County YMCA in Lincolnton and Sally’s YMCA in Denver.
This week, a county schools superintendent sent an email to the YMCA of Greater Charlotte that eventually made its way onto Facebook, sharing concerns over the future of the two Lincoln County YMCAs.
“I think it is a great place for people to socialize and work together towards a common goal,” said Lincoln County YMCA member Michael Cannon.
In the email to the YMCA of Greater Charlotte, Allen said he had heard chatter about the Lincoln Charter School’s possible bid for the two branches.
“We were all made aware of the desire for the YMCA of Charlotte to unload at least the Lincoln County YMCA while working on a plan to keep Sally’s as part of the association,” Allen wrote in the email shared with Queen City News. “Then we heard that both were up for grabs as an option if that is what would be conducive.”
He shared his disappointment in the lack of communication and the potential negative impacts the acquisition could have on the community.
In an email to Queen City News (below), Lincoln Charter School chief administrator Jonathan Bryant said no offers were made, though conversations between the school and Y have occurred.
“I am aware that there are rumors circulating that are related to a potential partnership between Lincoln Charter and the YMCAs in Lincoln County.
We have a long-standing relationship with both branches that we value, and we support their efforts in seeking innovative ways to positively impact our community.”
Following Allen’s email, a meeting with the YMCA of Greater Charlotte, Lincoln County Schools, and chairs of the two YMCAs took place Wednesday. In a joint statement, the parties said:
“Together, we agreed to assemble a community task force, including relevant stakeholders, with the intent to have an agreed-upon direction by the end of this year.
In parallel, the two branches in Lincoln County will work to put initiatives in place to gauge and increase the level of long-term community support for the YMCAs in Denver and Lincolnton.
As a group, we look forward to working with one another, along with other community partners, to come up with the best solution for the citizens, families, and children of Lincoln County.”
Michael Cannon, a Lincoln County YMCA member, says if ownership does change hands, he hopes the community will still be able to use the facilities.
“For it to become private or something like that, it would be a shame,” Cannon said. “It would deprive a lot of people from enjoying themselves here.”