Recreation Programs Slammed by Decision To Close Philadelphia Schools After Hours
By Mike DeNardo
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — While the City of Philadelphia reviews the school district’s decision to close its buildings on nights and weekends (watch video story), athletic programs that use the school district facilities say they’re being left out in the cold.
For 400 kids who play basketball and indoor soccer with the Holy Terrors Youth Organization in Mayfair, their seasons have come to an abrupt end.
“Four gyms going from 9 (am) to 5 in the afternoon — you just can’t find other gyms available to take up the slack there,” says Holy Terrors’ president Tom Smyth. “In essence, our season’s going to be cancelled.”
Smyth says the Philadelphia school district’s decision to save $2.8 million by closing school buildings on nights and weekends will disappoint thousands of kids, including his eight-year-old daughter.
“She looks forward to playing with her friends on the weekend, playing against other teams. And she just looks forward to playing basketball every week. And it’s really, reallly going to disappoint her,” he tells KYW Newradio.
Smyth says he hopes the school district will reconsider. A spokesman for the mayor says the city is taking a look at the impact of the district’s decision.