CALGARY -- YMCA Calgary announced the permanent closure of the Gray Family Eau Claire YMCA downtown facility Thursday.

According to a release, officials say the decision is due to financial pressures, economic conditions, and limited opportunities the facility has to contribute to the YMCA's strategic direction.

The Gray Family Eau Claire facility has been in the YMCA family for more than 30 years. Officials say for several years, the facility has been experiencing rising costs, a diminishing membership base, extensive requirements and challenges in the downtown environment.

 "As an organization that is privileged to serve Calgarians throughout the city, we take our responsibility to steward the current and future resources of our association very seriously," YMCA Calgary president and CEO Shannon Doram said in a release.

The COVID-19 pandemic experience has heightened these impacts, but officials say the challenges existed well before the pandemic arrived.

"As we transition from service-delivery at the Gray Family Eau Claire YMCA, we are excited to explore how we will continue to meet the evolving needs of Calgarians so that we will be here, creating impact, long after the pandemic is over,” Doram said.

Due to Alberta's provincial health authorities, YMCA Calgary's facilities are currently not fully operating.

The childcare centre within the downtown location will remain open until April 30 and  families accessing childcare will be contacted.

"We take great pride in the high-quality programs and memorable experiences that have been offered through the facility," said Patricia White, Chair, YMCA Calgary board of directors. In honour of the positive impact it has had on so many lives, we will make every possible effort to minimize the effects of this process on our staff and the communities who enjoy the facility."

The closure of this location does not affect any other YMCA Calgary facilities.