For Immediate Release
Monday, April 22, 2019
Contact: Benjamin Paulin
Rockland Officials Provide Update on McKinley Community Center
Local Company to Assess if Sprinkler System Can be Brought Up to Code
Day Care May Relocate to RPS Building — Day Care Services will Not be Interrupted
ROCKLAND — Interim Town Administrator James Purcell and Superintendent Alan Cron seek to provide residents with an update regarding the McKinley Community Center building.
The Town has hired Rockland-based City Point Fire Protection Inc. to assess and evaluate the sprinkler system in the Community Center this week in order to determine whether the system can be brought up to code. The company specializes in the installation, design, fabrication and service of fire protection equipment and systems.
The assessment of the sprinkler system is expected to be completed by early next week and will help town officials to determine what the best course of action will be going forward for the programs and departments currently housed in the Community Center.
“As of right now, the sprinkler system is the only issue that is preventing the building from remaining open beyond June 13,” Town Administrator Purcell said. “While the assessment is ongoing, we will continue working collaboratively with the school department, youth commission, fire department and building department to find short-term homes and long-term solutions for the programs, if indeed the sprinkler is beyond repair.”
Last week, town officials announced that on June 13, the Union Street building will be closed per the order of the Rockland Fire Department and the Rockland Building Commissioner due to the building’s non-operational sprinkler system. Until then, officials have approved the implementation of a daily fire watch program that will be in place at all times that the building is occupied.
The Community Center building, which is owned by the town, currently houses the Rockland Public Schools Daycare program, the Rockland Youth Commission, Veteran’s Agent, Historical Society and a local Women, Infants and Children Nutrition Program (WIC).
Superintendent Cron is currently planning to move the daycare to one of the town’s elementary schools for the summer, and the Rockland Public Schools stress that the daycare program will continue to run without interruption.
“It is important for parents and residents to know that no matter what, the daycare will not be closing. It may be changing locations, either temporarily or permanently depending on the results of the sprinkler system assessment,” Superintendent Cron said. “Daycare programming will go on as normal for the remainder of the school year and a new location will be chosen for the summer and beyond, if necessary. We understand the importance of this program to many families in Rockland and parents will continue to be updated on any new developments as they come along.”
The Rockland Youth Commission’s Summer Program, which is held at Hartsuff Park, will also go on as planned. Superintendent Cron is working closely with Rockland Youth Commission Director Jeanne Blaney and they have agreed to the use of a school building as a rainy day location for the Summer Program.
In addition, the town’s Veteran’s Agent and Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program will be temporarily relocated to Town Hall. Room assignments for those programs will be announced at a later date once they have been determined.