Community should help save centerPublished 9:39am Friday, November 23, 2012
For nearly 25 years the Chesapeake Community Center has essentially lived up to its name by offering a variety of opportunities for residents. But that could change without more support and potentially retooling the focus.
The community center, housed along State Route 7 in an aging building formerly part of the Chesapeake school district, has had its ups and downs over the years but is now facing significant financial challenges.
The center primarily survives on community donations and memberships of the fitness program that the center offers. Those memberships have decline significantly in recent years all while operating expenses and building maintenance costs increase.
Volunteers and generous supporters have done much over the years to make the gym functional and provide quality exercise equipment but still something is lacking or the word simply isn’t getting out.
It is certainly not too late to save the center, but it will take a focused and concerted effort, as well as thinking outside the box. Could local civic organizations play a larger role including utilizing it for more projects?
Could any of the school districts find a way to use it and share costs?
Are there private business that could benefit from a presence in the center and would be willing to pay rent?
Could the center seek input from the community and determine exactly what would be supported or needed?
Looking at every option will likely be vital to ensuring the center enjoys another 25 years.