Effort to relocate Crown Point Adult Learning Center fails

2013-12-11T17:45:00Z 2013-12-11T22:53:08Z Effort to relocate Crown Point Adult Learning Center failsSusan Erler susan.erler@nwi.com, (219) 662-5336 nwitimes.com
December 11, 2013 5:45 pm  • 

CROWN POINT | An effort has fallen through to relocate the Crown Point Adult Learning Center from its South Court Street site.

The city had been one of five entities agreeing to pledge financial backing to locate the center in a 1,200-square-feet space in the South Lake Resource Center.

A $5,000 pledge by Crown Point was in addition to $3,000 each pledged by trustees of Winfield and Center townships, along with a $5,000 pledge from the Crown Point Community Foundation and a $1,491.60 pledge from South Lake County Community Services, according to a memorandum of understanding provided by the city of Crown Point.

The total of nearly $17,500 was to have been used toward an annual lease of space in the South Lake Resource Center, 1450 E. Joliet St.

Crown Point Adult Learning Center currently serves about 100 clients in an approximately 500-square-feet location in Lakeview Square, 928 South Court Street.

The learning center provides 20 hours of instruction per week. Services include preparation for high-school equivalency certification, English as a second language and other related skills.

The move to the new location was decided against by Valparaiso based Center of Workforce Innovations, the oversight agent for Adult Learning Centers in Crown Point and other Northwest Indiana communities.

"We feel honored with the communities' generosity and greatly respect those that have stepped forward to help," Kitty Meyer of the Center of Workforce Innovations said in a Dec. 6 letter to Crown Point Mayor David Uran.

The non-profit agency decided "we simply cannot make a move at this time," Meyer said in the letter. "In good faith, we are not comfortable imposing upon the community the financial expense of a larger facility."

The Crown Point Board of Public Works and Safety was scheduled Wednesday to consider signing a partnership agreement with the four other entities pledging financial backing.

"It's disappointing," Uran said of the outcome.

Margot Sabato, executive director of South Lake County Community Services, said, "it's very disappointing for the partners who put this plan together for this to be rejected."

South Lake County Community Services is landlord of South Lake Resource Center.

In addition to providing a larger space, the Resource Center would offer greater accessibility and place the Adult Learning Center in a mix of other service providers at the location, Sabato said.

Miche Grant, adult education director with the Center of Workforce Innovations, said Wednesday the agency came to its decision "with a heavy heart."

Center of Workforce Innovations will focus for now on maximizing the program offered at the existing location, "without anyone ending up with additional costs."

The South Court Street location's annual $3,600 lease is funded by donations, Grant said.

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