15 Sep 2014
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Lower Mac Planners Approve Day Care Program

The former Lower Macungie Elementary School is the proposed site.

Lower Mac Planners Approve Day Care Program

Lower Macungie Planning Commissioners will recommend to the Board of Commissioners they permit a day care /after-school program at the former Lower Macungie Elementary School site.  The approval to submit the recommendation, at the Sept. 13 meeting, was on the condition that several ordinance requirements are met.

Commissioner Maury Robert and Zoning Officer Jim Lancsek had some misgivings concerning the  approval of the recommendation, saying additional information is required and should have been provided at the meeting.  Robert said the matter should be tabled until the October meeting.

Jim Garrity, the attorney representing Cambridge Day Schools, LLC, assured the commissioners and Lancsek everything will be in order, but time is of the essence.

“If you table this decision, it could be November by the time it is voted on.  That would be a great inconvenience to parents who need this program,” pleaded Garrity.  “We were hoping to have it in place by the start of school, but had to do some things we weren’t aware of, which caused delays.”

After some discussion, Lancsek and Robert agreed to the conditional recommendation.

According to Garrity, a lease has been worked out with the East Penn School District for a kindergarten day program, along with before- and after-school programs for children up to age 12.  Only a third of the building will be used for the programs, he said.

The 7.7 acre site, located at 6043 Lower Macungie Road, has limited parking and drop-off areas.  It includes a large outside play area with play equipment and a large ball field.

Carol Rabe, CEO of the Cambridge Day Schools located at 6673 Stein Way, said she currently has 38 children enrolled in the programs, but they are spread among several sites.  Plans include moving the school-age children to the elementary school and keeping the infants and pre-school children at the Stein Way location.

Four classrooms would be used at the school. Each class would include 20 children. An all-purpose room and stage are also available for their use during inclement weather.

“This is a great building,” she said.  “It’s perfect for this use.”

Rabe said parents would drop off their children in the morning. Plans include transporting them to and from Willow Lane, Wescosville, Shoemaker, Macungie, Seventh Generation and Alburtis elementary schools. Parents would pick up their children at the end of the day. 

A summer program also is planned, Rabe added.

Commissioners were very pleased with the program and Rabe’s qualifications and agreed to recommend it to the Board of Commissioners. 

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