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Ferndale YMCA to permanently close

Entrance to the Ferndale YMCA at 5610 Barrett Road (2018). Photo courtesy Whatcom Family YMCA

FERNDALE, Wash. — The Ferndale location of Bellingham-based Whatcom Family YMCA (YMCA) will be permanently closed as of June 1st according to a press release sent out today, May 29th. The Ferndale YMCA location has been at 5610 Barrett Road since 1990 according to the announcement.

According to today’s announcement, YMCA was informed their lease on the building would not be renewed. In addition, officials said, it was not “financially viable or prudent to reopen given the time remaining on their lease.” YMCA CEO Bill Ziels told My Ferndale News the lease expires in February.

While we are disheartened by this closure, we are proud of all we have accomplished in the 30 years we have been here. The Y would like to thank Ferndale for its dedicated staff, members, quality programming, and annual support. Together, we have nurtured the potential of children, enhanced health, and provided vital services to the community.

Though fitness centers have historically been the face of the YMCA, we can make a positive impact without a specific building or set of walls. Equipped with people and passion, the Y will explore all options to offer programs again safely when the time is right.

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WHATCOM FAMILY YMCA CEO Bill Ziels (May 29, 2020)

Ziels said current Ferndale members will receive 3 months of free membership at other YMCA facilities once they are able to reopen following closures due to the governor’s orders to minimize the spread of the COVID-19 disease. 

In January, the building and property housing the Ferndale YMCA and an adjacent property at 5684 Barrett Road were purchased by Koenlock, LLC, according to Whatcom County records. The governing people with the LLC are Michael Koenen and Jacob Locker according to Washington State Department of Revenue records.

No one representing Koenlock LLC was immediately available to comment for this story.

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