Middle School should be community center

Staff Writer
The Chronicle Express

I have read recently that the Penn Yan Board of Education is investigating the possibility of moving students out of their Middle School. If Penn Yan Elementary School and Penn Yan Academy have the space available to accommodate these extra students, this might be an excellent partial solution to some budget problems. Next comes the question of what to do with an empty Middle School.

This appears to be an opportunity for the Yates Cultural & Recreational Resources group to obtain a facility that would be practically move-in ready.

We all know that this group has been working very hard for many years to obtain funding with the intention of constructing a building on their North Main Street property.

The YCRR would be able to take a giant leap forward by taking over the Middle School as a location for their many activities. Their property on North Main could then be developed as a location for all of their outdoor programs. The Middle School already has gymnasium space, a functioning kitchen, and an awesome auditorium. There is plenty of space in the Middle School for not only YCRR activities, but it would also have ample space for other community groups to use (scouts, organizations, clubs, etc.) The possibilities are endless! The central location will make it easily accessible to everyone, as opposed to the North Main site which is somewhat out of the way.

The Middle School is a very special building to most of the community.

Generations have been educated there in a very family-like environment. As taxpayers, we have paid for the renovations and maintenance. What a wonderful way for us to continue to reap the benefits of our investment. If the YCRR takes over the Penn Yan Middle School, it would be a win-win-win situation. The YCRR wins by obtaining a turn-key facility. The tax payers win because the building would still be a vital part of our community. The community as a whole wins because they would have a wonderful community center offering programs to benefit all of us. Since taxpayers’ money has paid for renovations, this would give them an opportunity to actually use what their money has paid for.

Donald P. “Pat” Halferty

Keuka Park