The kids will have a place to play this summer after all – at Mary J. Tanner Primary School.
The Granville Town Board decided Thursday night to move forward with the Summer Recreation Program and begin hiring workers to staff the program.
Board members gave their approval to continue with the summer program following news the village had agreed to contribute part of the cost of a needed bus run to move children from the village to the temporary location in Middle Granville. The program is slated to return to the high school or elementary school for 2010.
“I’m very pleased that the board has decided to continue with the summer recreation program even given the difficulty in putting it together this summer,” Supervisor Rodger Hurley said.
Hurley said the $500 village contribution put the cost of the bus run, just over $1,500, within the budget of the program, allowing it to continue uninterrupted.
The town board had considered suspending the program for one year after school officials announced this spring both former sites of the program, the junior senior high school and Granville Elementary, would be unsuitable places for children to play due to the ongoing EXCEL construction project.
Town officials sought alternate locations that would provide restrooms as well as places for the children to play during summer storms, leaving the Middle Granville school as the principal option
“As I mentioned at the meeting we are very appreciative of the support of the school and the village,” Hurley said, “This represents a real community effort to maintain the summer program for youth that provides healthy and positive activities for a substantial portion of the youth in the community.”
Reached at home, Mayor Jay Niles said he was happy to hear the program had been kept running. “I’m very pleased they decided to do that; once again it came down to cooperation between the town and village this is another good example of us working together and I’m sure that will continue in the future,” Niles said.
Granville school district Superintendent Dan Teplesky echoed those thoughts.
“It was a team effort, a total team effort,” he said. “I met previously with Supervisor Hurley and Mayor Niles to try to collaborate to ensure that the program could continue; the board was very supportive, allowing the district to make Mary J. Tanner available to the summer recreation program.”
The primary school was the only location option that provided the needed facilities, he said.
Teplesky said the elementary school would be completely without power for about two week during the summer recreation program and the high school would be without power as well, although for a shorter period of time. Additionally, construction at the high school would make the area unsafe for play.
Hurley said the Town Hall had received a number of calls inquiring about the fate of the program in recent weeks.
“I think there was widespread community support for this program,” he said. “We had a number of calls and expressions of concern.”
Hurley said he thought there was a general feeling that the board would work on the issue and find a way to ensure the program was kept running.
The program director from last summer, Renee Vilbrin, has already expressed interest in running the program again.
Hurley said the process of hiring the student recreation aides would begin immediately.
The town plans to hire six students to assist Vilbrin with the program, which runs from July 6 to Aug. 14.
An ad will run in the newspaper, Hurley said, but applications can be found at the Town Hall as well.