“We welcome you:” Former South Shore YMCA preparing to open its doors once again

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CUDAHY -- A new beginning! 18 months ago, the former South Shore YMCA was shut down amid bankruptcy concerns. Now, the facility has a new owner with a new mission.South Shore YMCA

Their doors closed back in January of 2015. Even before that happened, some went to work -- working to get a new owner in the building who would maintain a similar facility for the community.

Almost a year-and-a-half later, the new owners are ready to meet the community and share their plan as they prepare to open the doors once again.South Shore YMCA

"I think it was so hard for people to walk out that door," said Kristine Slamka, Chair of the Board for South Shore YMCA.South Shore YMCA

The South Shore YMCA located in Cudahy, wasn't just where they came to workout.

"It was leaving the place they built relationships, they built friendships," said Slamka.

"I could name 50 people by name, that I knew in the weight room, played racquetball, so it's just a wonderful place and I just long to see them again," said Vic Hilarov, YMCA member for 30 years.

That chance could come again soon. After 18 long months, during which the facility was closed.South Shore YMCA

"This is not going to to function as the YMCA, it will be a separate group but a lot of the spirit will be the same," said Coordinator for Youth in Motion, Hadis Fetic.

Fetic says there were a lot of people that wanted the building, but with the help of some investors and community members, the Federation of Balkan American Association bought it.

Hadis Fetic

Hadis Fetic

"When we heard about a facility like this that was being sold at a reasonable price with everything is already here, the gym, the pool, the classes, it was an opportunity we couldn't pass up," said Fetic.

Fetic says a lot will stay the same. It will be a place to workout, daycare and classes will be offered -- but there will be some additions.

"We have a lot of things we emphasize here. Education is incredibly important for us here. Multiculturalism, openness and friendship," said Fetic.

For now, they're calling themselves, "Youth in Motion." And while they still have some work to ahead of them to reach their goal of an early September opening, they're looking forward to it.South Shore YMCA

"We welcome you, we want you to be a part of it," said Fetic.

That community involvement is starting this weekend. The new owners are hosting a community barbeque right at the facility on July 9th at Noon. They invite the community and its questions, concerns and feedback.