by Lisa Sorg
Most of the Lakewood YMCA in Durham will be the new home of a Montessori middle school, after the Durham County Commissioners agreed to purchase the property at its meeting last night.
Last year, the Indy published a series of stories on the plight of the inner city Y, one of the most beloved and integrated places in Durham: June 13, 2007; June 20, 2007; Sept. 26, 2007; Nov. 7, 2007; April 29, 2008.
The Committee to Save the Lakewood Y, comprised of neighborhood activists, won an Indy Citizen Award for the group's successful efforts to keep it open. The facility is an anchor for several transitional neighborhoods in southwest-central Durham. The YMCA of the Triangle had proposed closing the 40-year-old facility because of expensive renovations.
The County bought the Y for $250,000 and plans to invest $8 million in renovations. About 35,000 square feet will be used for the school; the remaining 18,000 square feet will remain the Y.