YMCA to close Moncks Corner facility

The Berkeley County Family YMCA is closing its doors after nearly 30 years.
Published: Feb. 7, 2023 at 3:29 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 7, 2023 at 7:20 PM EST
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MONCKS CORNER, S.C. (WCSC) - The Berkeley County Family YMCA is closing its doors after nearly 30 years.

The YMCA of Greater Charleston sent a notice out to members on Jan. 30. The email cited the building as being “in need of substantial improvement.” The notice says the YMCA cannot provide that work and the efforts to operate in Berkeley County have “seriously challenged the financial capabilities” of the local YMCA.

Therefore, the YMCA of Greater Charleston Board of Directors and staff management have decided to close and sell the 210 Rembert C. Dennis Blvd. location in Moncks Corner.

President and CEO of the Charleston area operations, Paul Stoney, signed the email notification.

Stoney says the building was costing more than $100,000 a year to keep its doors open and still needed costly repairs, like a potentially $300,000 new roof. When the building is officially sold and closed, members are invited to use the Cane Bay location, and participate in continuing leagues and services.

“Physically, that YMCA does not meet the expectations of a YMCA, it is rapidly deteriorating,” Stoney says.

Stoney says the decision was based on being a good steward of community money, and the facility didn’t make sense anymore. But he says there are future options to collaborate with the help of land donations or developer deals.

“And as it relates to developers, if they’re able to, and it makes good business sense, then we would love to maintain a new presence in that community with a new facility. So that is being taken into consideration,” Stoney said.

The notice says all current members will be grandfathered in to the YMCA facility in Cane Bay, which is about a 20-minute drive across the county. The membership will last one year from the closing date of the Moncks Corner location, which has not been announced.

Kenneth Owens, a member since 1998, says he will miss the location.

“I’m sad it’s closing down because I’ve always enjoyed the people I work out with and the people who run the facility here are very nice people. But going to Cane Bay isn’t really going to be an option for me that’s a little bit further to travel,” Owens says.

The Cane Bay facility opened in April of 2019 and boasts 54,000-square-feet of new construction and assets.

Stoney says in the email that YMCA youth sports, fitness and programming will continue at satellite locations across the county and the non-profit will make every effort for current staff members to continue with the organization.

“Our programs, just like programs that we operate downtown, although we don’t have a physical presence, that is part of our service area. And we still operate programs downtown without having a physical presence. We intend to do the same thing in the Moncks Corner Berkeley County community,” Stoney says.

Stoney says he values the Moncks Corner members and is happy to field any question going forward with the process.

“This is part of a longer vision to continue to deliver a high caliber of programs throughout Charleston and Berkeley counties. And we take that very seriously. We also have to recognize when a facility is not up to our standards, and yes, tough decisions need to be made,” Stoney says.