The Planning and Zoning Commission has approved Ulbrich Boys & Girls Club’s application to adapt space for after-school programming by subdividing the Hope Christian Church on Montowese Avenue.
The plan for this new unit was approved July 1 after traffic issues and enrollment capacity were addressed.
“We came up with a plan to keep traffic minimalized,” said Erik Scaranuzzo, chairman of the Ulbrich Boys & Girls Club’s steering committee. “We were also approved to give aid to about 70 kids at max capacity.”
Carlos Collazo, executive director of the Ulbrich Boys & Girls Club, explained the plan to minimize traffic and promote safety.
“We presented a bell curve chart of entrance and exit times for kids to show that traffic wouldn’t be an issue,” Collazo said. “We also have a plan to use both Montowese Avenue, where the church is, and Middletown Avenue to keep traffic flowing.”
According to Collazo, the North Haven unit has about 20 families pre-registered for the after-school program beginning in the fall of the 2019 academic year. He said the program will provide a “much needed service” to the residents of North Haven and promote “character and leadership, the arts, and educational and physical activities.”
The cost of membership is $135 per year.
“We’re getting gaming equipment, new furniture and installing a security system,” Collazo said.
The work will be done by employees and volunteers of the Ulbrich Boys & Girls Club with added help coming from four Kohl’s stores as a part of the Kohl’s Cares volunteer initiative.
“It really was a perfect storm,” Scaranuzzo said. “They’re (Hope Christian) a small congregation with a beautiful and large facility and they were offering it for a reasonable amount of rent. We stumbled across each other and Pastor Jim embraced the idea. Two non-profits coming together really is a great story.”
Jim Detweiler, pastor of the Hope Christian congregation, said it was an easy decision. “One of the key components of our church is finding ways to respond to our community. We didn’t have the financial resources and saw that there was a need for after-school care.”