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Westport Y Child Care, Gymnastics Programs Could Be Closed

The gymnastics program and child care services offered at the Westport Weston Family Y may be shut down if alternate locations for these programs are not found.
The gymnastics program and child care services offered at the Westport Weston Family Y may be shut down if alternate locations for these programs are not found. Photo Credit: Westport Weston Family Y

WESTPORT, Conn. — Westport Weston Family Y officials are scoping out alternate locations for its child care and gymnastics because the new 54,000-square-foot facility under construction at its Mahackeno campus won’t have enough space for those programs.

If alternate sites are not found, the programs will have to be shut down until the Mahackeno facility was expanded, said Y CEO Rob Reeves.

“But we’re hopeful that won’t happen,” Reeves said in an email to The Daily Voice.

The 54,000-square-foot main building is Phase 1 of the approved 102,000-square-foot facility. Y officials voted last year to build the facility in stages , because not enough funding was in place to construct the entire facility at once.

Phase 1 of the project, expected to be completed by September 2014, will feature a 10-lane, 25-yard lap pool and adjacent shallow warm-water pool; a health and wellness center; a multi-purpose gymnasium; three group fitness studios; a Child Watch/Kids’ Adventure Gym area; five locker rooms and other amenities.

Phase 2 of the project would allow for a separate child care wing and gymnastics center, Reeves said. It is not known when construction of Phase 2 would begin, however, because that depends on funding.

The Y began searching for suitable alternate sites for its child care services and gymnastics program not long after the decision to complete construction in stages was made, he said. Currently, the Y is mainly seeking locations in Westport and Weston, but is also considering parts of Norwalk, he said. Input from parents was sought Tuesday night.

“The problem has been in finding space that meets our standards, satisfies local and state licensing and zoning requirements, and is affordable,” he said. “We are still looking into two [child care locations] right now, and we have suggestions from the parents meeting that we’re pursuing as well. For gymnastics, we’re pursuing one very good option right now.”

If an alternate site is not secured, Reeves said the child care program— currently serving 35 families— would shut down on June 30. The gymnastics program— which currently serves 300 students—  wouldn’t be affected until the Y has to vacate its current downtown facility. However, enrollment into the Y’s competitive gymnastic teams would be shut down for next fall, he said.

Site suggestions are welcome. Specifically, Reeves said the Y is looking for 4,500 square feet of space that is zoned for child care with adequate outdoor space to install a playground. Anyone with suggestions can contact Reeves at 203-226-8981, ext. 131.

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