Thursday, February 23, 2012
Westfield Area Y to Occupy Shuttered Washington School
Washington School has been given a new lease on life courtesy of the Westfield Area Y. Starting soon the non-profit organization is leasing the site for 5 years, according to the Garwood Board of Education. The Y told borough officials it plans on running the satellite Garwood location of its Westfield site as a pre-school and the secondary home of other childcare programs. The Y will also retrofit the old elementary school with a fitness center and yoga studio. The Y Senior Director of Childcare Services also told the Westfield Leader that the group is thinking of offering a summer camp program and a middle school after-school program, a recent report said.
The Y is entering into a half-and-half share with the town, according to the board’s attorney John Geppert. He said any proceeds the Y will make will be split with the borough and any deficits that occur on their behalf should not affect the borough, according to a report on nj.com.
While many in town are excited about the new deal, some Southside residents have expressed concern over the parking situation at the facility. Those concerns have prompted the borough to discuss changing the parking rules on the adjacent streets.
The Garwood Board of Education has also assured parents that the pre-school program to be offered at the Y will not affect the borough's own pre-school program for students currently enrolled in the program.
The Washington School was closed in 2010 because of budget cuts, it is currently being used as a temporary location for a Cranford elementary school flooded by Hurricane Irene. The Y currently runs a childcare program at St. Paul's United Church of Christ on Center Street.