Asbury Park officials were scheduled to discuss the West Side Community Center in a closed executive session at press time for our printed edition, on newsstands now.
The Committee to save the West Side Community Center, a special citizens committee comprised of local professionals having former leadership ties with the West Side Community Center, 115 DeWitt Avenue, Asbury Park, has made a request of the city asking officials to apply to the Superior Court in Freehold for the appointment of a Receiver for the center.
The Committee is asking that the City Council act immediately given the recreational and enrichment program needs of disadvantaged city children, particularly on the city’s West Side. The Committee has expressed a desire to get to work immediately in partnership with several private and public agencies. The hope is that the Center can be made sufficiently functional by the end of the current school year to allow for the opening of an expansive summer literacy camp with a recreational and arts component. The Committee has stated that they do not want another summer to pass with kids exposed to the streets during summer week days instead of the safety and educational and cultural opportunities of a quality summer camp. Proposed summer camp hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Committee said funding agencies have withdrawn, including the United Way, the Black United Fund, Monmouth Park Charities, New Jersey Natural Gas Company, and the Borden Foundation. There are no programs operating, and the Center is observed to be locked and shuttered during weekdays and Saturdays.
The Committee said it would work to establish a broader team of professional volunteers, salvage the Center’s former inestimable goodwill, and restore funding.