North Camden Community Center in high demand but little use
Turns out the Camden Boxing Academy isn't the only organization eager to access the recently renovated North Camden Community Center. The North Camden Little League, which has been honored by city and county officials, has been seeking use of the community center for about a year to no avail.
As I mentioned in my story Tuesday on the delay in the $1 million renovation of the North Camden Community Center, the Camden Boxing Academy has been displaced to Pennsauken for the last two years.
Turns out they aren’t the only ones wishing they had access to the North Camden Community Center.
The North Camden Little League, which has been honored by city and county officials, has been seeking use of the community center for about a year.
Those involved with the little league were some of “the loudest voices” asking city council to get the center repaired, said the league’s founder, Bryan Morton.
“To not have regular access is disheartening,” Morton said Tuesday.
The community center, like most others in the city, is open from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Fridays.
Morton says Friday nights and the weekends are the most crucial times to keep youth engaged in positive activities. He wants to host ice cream socials on the weekends or pitching practice on rainy nights.
The city’s business administrator, Christine Tucker, said nonprofits and any community group such as Morton’s group, may request a permit to use the community center during off hours. There is a $50 per hour fee.
But Morton said the issue is finding people to work those off-hours.
“We’ve tried to ask for permits,” Morton said. “But we’ve been told it comes down to finding individuals to work.”
The community center re-opened last summer with a brand new basketball court. The new boxing area is expected to open sometime this summer.
Morton says it’s not just youths but adults who want to use the community center’s amenities.
“It’s difficult to get in there,” Morton said. “That’s a resource that should be accessible to everyone.”