Official Press Release - 9/6/16

The City of Maplewood and the YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities, a leading nonprofit dedicated to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, are in discussions regarding the operations of the Maplewood Community Center (MCC). This would be an expansion of a partnership begun last year in which the YMCA began managing the MCC’s aquatics operations.
Since it opened more than 20 years ago, the MCC has played a vital role in the community. The MCC has provided vital first swimming lessons to thousands of children, lifeguards have been trained, and adults have taken their first yoga classes. In addition, children have blown out birthday candles, brides and grooms have sliced wedding cakes and the theatre has hosted countless performances. 

The MCC has improved the City in many educational, enrichment and engagement activities. However, it has come at a great financial cost to the City. Currently, the MCC needs significant maintenance work and improvements, in addition to the facility’s yearly deficit of about $450,000. Accordingly, the City has spent several months looking at ways to make the MCC financially stronger while also maintaining its commitment to the community. After exploring several options, the City is discussing entering into an agreement with the YMCA to take over the MCC’s operations. 
“Our goal throughout this process has been to build a stronger future for a valuable community asset,” said Mayor Nora Slawik. “Our partnership with the YMCA means the MCC will offer more classes and opportunities for our residents.”
There will be a number of benefits to the community and residents in the agreement with the YMCA, including: 
  • The City and the YMCA will jointly fund a capital improvement fund.
  • The YMCA will take full control of the facility’s operational risk. 
  • Instead of continuing to fund the MCC’s deficit, the City will be able to fund park improvements.
  • Residents will be able to retain their access to special pricing and will also be able to upgrade their memberships to access YMCAs throughout the Twin Cities.
  • Seniors who qualify for health insurance-funded memberships at the MCC will automatically gain access to YMCAs across the Twin Cities.
The YMCA will seek to retain as many current Maplewood Community Center employees as possible, and the City is also working to retain the full-time Community Center employees in other capacities.

“For the past year the YMCA has been delivering high quality aquatics programs at the Maplewood Community Center,” said Greg Waibel, chief operating officer for the YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities. “In the coming weeks we look forward to sharing all the innovative programs and services the YMCA has to offer residents and MCC members.” 


Community Meetings - The City will hold one more community meeting to share information and answer questions about the possible expanded partnership. 

9/20/16 - Maplewood Fire Station 1   
   5:30 to 7:00 pm

600 McKnight Road N, Maplewood 55119     

 9/13/16 - Maplewood Community Center  
  5:30 to 7:00 pm

2100 White Bear Avenue, Maplewood  55109     

Key Contacts

Do you have concerns or questions?  Please let us know.  You can contact anyone below, and we will try to address your question the best that we can.

Maplewood City Manager
Melinda Coleman
(651) 249-2055

Maplewood Parks and Recreation Director
Duwayne Konewko
(651) 249-2330

Mayor of Maplewood
Nora Slawik
(651) 738-7099

Executive Director of the White Bear Area YMCA
Shane Hoefer

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the City considering an agreement that would see the YMCA take over the Maplewood Community Center’s (MCC) operations? 
While acknowledging the vital role the MCC has played in the City for more than 20 years, the reality is operating the MCC is tremendously expensive and diverts away funds the City could use for other important expenditures such as park improvements. Additionally, the YMCA has a level of programming and operational expertise the City simply can’t match.
Does the proposal call for the City to sell the MCC to the YMCA? 
No. I the agreement the YMCA assumes programming and operational responsibilities while also assuming the facility’s future financial risk. The City and the YMCA will also jointly fund a capital improvement fund.
Does the City currently have a relationship with the YMCA? 
Yes. The YMCA assumed all of the MCC’s aquatics programming and operations more than a year ago and the City has received positive feedback from MCC members about the change. 
What will happen to the MCC’s employees? 
The YMCA will seek to retain as many MCC employees as possible. Additionally, the City is seeking to transition some full-time MCC employees into other full-time City positions.
What is the MCC’s yearly operational deficit? 
Typically the yearly operational deficit has between $250,000 and $450,000. This figure doesn’t include capital expenditures. 
What will happen to membership pricing for Maplewood residents? 
Residents will retain their special pricing for three years with annual increases capped at 3 percent (the most recent City increase was 7%). Residents will also be able to upgrade their memberships to access YMCAs through the metro area. 
What will the City do with the savings from turning over MCC operations to the YMCA? 
Much of the savings will be used to fund park improvements, a topic many of our residents are particularly passionate about.
Will the City maintain any presence at the MCC? 
The City will maintain a space for meetings and conferences. The contract with Ashland Productions will remain in place. 
What kinds of capital improvements and deferred maintenance projects does the MCC currently need? 
The City Commissioned a 2014 report on capital needs at the MCC including air handling, roof replacement and other items. The YMCA and the City have jointly agreed to begin work on these items as well as other recommendations after further study. The new agreement will memorialize some of these priorities, which in the near term include replacing the aquatic center roof, a new energy management system for the building, and upgrades to carpet, paint and other surfaces in the facility.
When will a final decision be made? 
A final decision is expected in mid-October. 

MCC Community Meeting (9/13/16)