City of Muskegon and Muskegon Public Schools Bring Back Youth Basketball and Open Gym, But Not Open Swim

Andrew Trzaska | October 12, 2011

Though open swim will not be returning, open gym and the youth basketball league offered by the Muskegon Public Schools Youth Support Services and the City of Muskegon will be back this school year, after a unanimous vote to approve funding by the Muskegon City Commission Tuesday night.

With city cooperation the school district offered the Open Gym and Swim program from February to April of the 2010-2011 school year, to give Muskegon residents extra opportunities for recreation.

With Tuesday’s vote, the gym and basketball components of the program will return starting in October and will run from this month through March 2012. The City of Muskegon will put up $18,500 to fund the program from its Leisure Services budget, which is in line with last year’s costs.

The boys’ and girls’ basketball seasons will run consecutively for eight weeks each and will be supervised by Muskegon Community Education.  Student registration will remain at $25 for the league, the same entry fee as last year.

Open gym will also run for eight weeks during this period of time, with no cost noted.

Last school year’s program appears successful, despite cost overruns that led to this year’s elimination of the swim portion.

In a financial report obtained published by Muskegon Public schools and obtained from the City of Muskegon, an analysis of last year’s showed that 212 unique individuals took part at some point in the open gym program, with an average of 93 per week showing up.

Additionally, 193 young people participated in the youth basketball program. During the run of the program, students were required to maintain good academic and behavioral standing during the day if they were to play

City representatives noted that an assessment of last year’s program showed that the open swim component saw less use than the other parts of the program, but significant extra costs were incurred by having it. These included having a maintenance person and lifeguard on hand at all times.

Andrew Trzaska

103.7 “The Beat” – local government beat reporter and political analyst

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