Rob Reeves issued the following statement, in response to questions about the Westport Family Y’s childcare and gymnastics situations:
We thank the concerned parents for attending our meeting on Tuesday evening. The Family Y has been actively searching for suitable alternate sites for its child care services, as well as its gymnastics programs, for nearly 2 years, soon after the decision was made to proceed with constructing our new Y facility at Mahackeno in stages.
The first phase is a 54,000-square foot facility with all the features and amenities that will allow us to continue to offer people of all ages and abilities the opportunity to live healthier, more engaged lives. Ultimately, we intend to enlarge our Y at Mahackeno to the 102,000-square foot facility approved by all local authorities. That expansion is designed to include a separate child care wing and gymnastics center.
As we strive to open our modern new Y late next summer, we’re also continuing to explore all options to find suitable temporary locations in our service area – namely Westport and Weston, and possibly parts of Norwalk – for our child care and gymnastics programs. The problem has been in finding space that meets our standards, satisfies local and state licensing and zoning requirements, and is affordable. Such a location for our child care program simply hasn’t been on the market.
The Y’s after-school programs for school-age children, including Kinderkids, taking place this school year at Saugatuck Elementary School, will continue as currently structured. And we’re hopeful that a suitable alternate site for our acclaimed gymnastics program, with its own stringent requirements, can be found.
In the meantime, we’re hopeful that, somehow, we will be able to find a suitable location for the 35 families currently served by our NYAEC-accredited child care program in the time frame we’re working with. But we realize time is running short, and we see no alternative other than keeping our child care families informed so that they can make the best decisions going forward for themselves and their children.