WICHITA, Kansas -- From inside the new YMCA that opened in December, Wichitans watched as the old facility next door was being torn down.
Some went out for a closer look.
"Whoa, there goes the running track."
Shannon Hershberger worked in that building 34 years and Patty Torres ten.
"It's sad. It's part of being a family there. I made great relationships with members and staff," said Torres.
Built in 1959, the old YMCA became known for its annual We Care Dinner for Thanksgiving, plus many fitness programs throughout the year.
By April, the old YMCA location will be a parking lot.
"It's a bittersweet day because this building has been iconic in downtown Wichita for 50 years," said Steve Clark, YMCA Volunteer President. "The old building was not functional so this is progress."
As proof, YMCA officials point to attendance numbers at the new Y.
Instead of the expected 45,000 visitors in December, 60,000 turned out.
At all the YMCA's in Wichita, membership has grown from 15,000 in the 1950's to 150,000 now
"We have a beautiful, new building. My members from the old building are loving the new Y. It's beautiful, spacious and lots of room," said Torres.