Franklin Street School’s Future Will Be as Community Center

The Historic Franklin Street School will be transformed into a “multi-purpose, multi-generational facility” broadly serving the needs of Cape May residents.

That was the concept delivered to Cape May City Council at its July 5 work session by David MacKenzie, director of the Center for Community Arts (CCA).

In 2002, CCA entered into an agreement with the city sharing responsibility for the historic school and the annex to the structure that contains an operational gymnasium. The original concept had been to convert part of the structure to a community arts center.

The plan, as presented to council, is to renovate the entire structure including the back annex, and newly-constructed space above the current gym and use the integrated structure for multipurpose activities. The complex would also include a senior community center.

When renovated, the estimate is that the structure would have about 9,000 square feet of usable space. Examples of use included the flexible senior meeting and activity space, a location for CCA office space and radio station, art space with access to things like a kiln for pottery, a dedicated area for historical exhibits and even preservation of an area well suited for community health programs.

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