Conversion of Lakewood YMCA into school approved

Posted May 23, 2008

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— Durham County school board members on Thursday approved converting the Lakewood Young Mens Christian Association building into a middle school.

The three-way deal was proposed in October: Durham County will buy and renovate the YMCA facility at 2119 Chapel Hill Road for $250,000, Durham Public Schools will open a middle school there, and the YMCA of the Triangle will lease part of the facility to run sports programs for at least 15 years.

School board members voted to implement a Montessori curriculum at the middle school, which will open for the 2010-2011 school year. It will serve up to 300 students.

In May 2007, YMCA officials announced plans to close the Lakewood YMCA, which they said was losing $400,000 a year and used regularly by only half of its 1,000 members. A second YMCA facility is within two miles of the Lakewood YMCA.

Community members, however, pushed to keep the 42-year-old facility open in some form.


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  • thewayitis May 28, 2008

    Oh goody. Now the kids who already get to attend Durham Montessori elementary schools will be grandfathered in for middle school as well. It is really not fair. There are so many people who try and fail to get into Montessori through the lottery. Meanwhile, siblings of students who were selected through the lottery automatically get in WITHOUT having to go through the lottery process, leaving even fewer spaces for others to have a shot at it. So now they are going to have a Montessori middle school that the two elementary Montessori schools will feed into. These privileged kids will now have 9 years of a private-school quality curriculum, all at taxpayer expense. I wouldn't be opposed to this if all students had an equal opportunity to attend Montessori, but as it stands now, only about 5% who apply get in. That is not a fair and equitable use of tax dollars. Why not strive to improve all Durham schools, rather than giving a select minority a chance at an elite education?

  • whatelseisnew May 27, 2008

    Very nice. Every once in a while you see a good decision being made.