Turner Street YWCA opens, members thrilled - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Turner Street YWCA opens, members thrilled

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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB News Channel 5) -- Two months after the YMCA on Turner Street closed its doors, it is reopening them again Monday as the newest YWCA branch.

The YWCA bought the Turner Street location when the YMCA was forced to close because of financial and membership problems. Now, they're ready to show off the building.

News Channel 5's Brooke Buford has more.

Roxana Waller, a 30 year member of the YMCA on Turner Street, says she was crushed when she heard the branch was going to close two months ago.

"Oh, I was crying," she said. "There was a bunch of us in here. We were crying. We really were. I could cry now. But, it was really heartbreaking."

The branch had run into some financial and membership trouble. The only option was to shut it down.

"I was absolutely horrified," said Russ Marsh, another member. "I went to meetings and I lobbied to try to keep it open. I couldn't believe Alexandria was going to close the 'Y.'"

But, the "Y" didn't stay closed for long. One month after shutting its doors, a different "Y" decided to but it - the YWCA.

"I am so grateful to the board of directors for letting us grow and for letting us take this step and for trusting our staff to do that," said Katie Vanderlick, executive director of the YWCA. "It is a great move for us. We're excited to have two locations and to offer more to this community."

Members say they never expected that one month after the Turner Street branch closed, that they would be reopening once again. They say when they walked through the doors of the new YWCA, it felt like coming home.

And, it's like a new home. The YWCA renovated the location and says it will continue with repairs. Members couldn't be happier.

"Oh, it's wonderful. We are so happy," said Waller. "We said, I hope they really do it. And, they have. They're making it great!"

The YWCA is open Monday-Friday from 5:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. And, Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
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