Conversion of Lakewood YMCA into school approved

Posted May 23, 2008 2:47 p.m. EDT

— 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.