Members of the Rochester Area Family YMCA voted Wednesday to join the YMCA of the North.
The decision will integrate the local facility into the metro-area based nonprofit dedicated to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.
Here are a few things to know about the decision:
1. The vote was a landslide.
Joan Schimml, senior director of communications and marketing for the YMCA of the North, said 93 percent of those attending Wednesday's voted for the new partnership.
Ann Beatty, chairwoman of the YMCA Rochester Community Board, said about 200 of the approximately 3,000 people served by the Y voted.
2. Several reasons were provided.
"I heard comments from people who just think it's the right thing to do," Beatty said of comments during the closed membership meeting.
Among concerns voiced during the meeting were the need for improvements for the aging facility and a desire to expand programs and enhance the existing staff.
3. A new building could be in the future.
While she noted the initial goal will be to create a long-term plan to update the facility built in 1964, Beatty said she the future has yet to be determined, noting a new building could be part of the future.
She said the YMCA of the North brings an expertise in planning for the future and determining what a community needs.
4. Staff is expected to remain in place.
"Everybody is on board, I hope, to stay on," Beatty said.
Schimml said the move could eventually expand the staff.
"We will work with the Rochester Y leadership team to ensure we have the skills and experience needed to best serve the Rochester members and community," she said. "In the future, we expect to add additional program offerings that may offer new job opportunities."
5. Several new opportunities are expected.
In addition to operational efficiency and financial stability, the YMCA of the North expects to expand community opportunities during the coming year, which could include new fitness equipment, additional youth enrichment classes, an improved group exercise platform, a new swim lesson curriculum, updated teen programming and access to overnight and family camps.
"We are excited to collaborate with the Rochester community to provide whole-life well-being opportunities and life-strengthening services for youth, adults, families and seniors," said Glen Gunderson, president and CEO of the YMCA of the North. "We look forward to deepening the YMCA's partnerships in the Rochester community and developing even more innovative programs."
6. If membership rates change, it won't be until next year.
"We asked that question, and we think possibly in 2018," Beatty said of the potential for a slight rate increase.
The current membership also continues to provide access to all Minnesota YMCAs.
7. University of Minnesota Rochester will remain a partner.
Beatty said the university will remain an important part of the Y's future vision and plans continue to create a campus around the facility.
"We want to serve the greater community but that remains a great partnership," she said.