Center now 80 percent to 85 percent occupied
September 2, 2012 8:06PM
Updated: October 4, 2012 6:06AM
The South Shore Dance Alliance moving into the former Franklin Elementary School puts the center in a much better fiscal position earlier than the Town Council had hoped.
The building is now between 80 percent and 85 percent occupied with South Shore Dance Alliance’s addition, Town Council president Glen Gaby said. And within a year, Franklin Center could be self-sustaining.
“We didn’t take it over for it be a huge moneymaker; if it didn’t lose money, we’d be happy,” Gaby said. “But by next year — a year earlier than we anticipated — we should be breaking even at best. And if it makes a small profit, even better.”
The YMCA opening its doors at Franklin Center in January was a tremendous help, Gaby said, and the organization helped with much of the initial expense by doing a lot of the exterior work in lieu of rent money. The town, however, is helping put the Dance Alliance’s studio together by getting rid of a false ceiling, painting and cleaning.
“Larry (SSDA creative director Brewer) said we’ve done more for them in an day and a half than (the city of Gary) did for them in four years,” Gaby said. “We thought SSDA would be a good fit with what we have going now.
“And, truth of the matter is, we needed revenue.”
Along with the Y and now SSDA, Head Start has opened an office in the Franklin Center, Gaby said. In addition, the town has offered space free-of-charge to the Griffith Historical Society and the Hi-Rail Modular Train Club.
Michelle L. Quinn,