Crohan grand opening set for January

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The much anticipated grand opening of the David W. Crohan Nutrition Center in Flanders is set for January, according to Town Deputy Supervisor Richard Blowes.

Back in July, Mr. Blowes said the center would open in October, while a more optimistic Town Supervisor Linda Kabot predicted a September opening.

Mr. Blowes said the reason for the latest re-scheduling was an unexpected delay in receiving all the necessary health permits from the Suffolk County Department of Health, as well as other projects that required the town’s attention.

“We’re at a time when we have to do more with less,” Mr. Blowes said, adding that the final touch-ups are being completed and that he fully expects the center to open in January. “In fact, we had initially planned on opening some time between Christmas and New Year’s, but decided against it because it is such a short week,” he said.

Ms. Kabot has not yet scheduled a specific date in January for the ribbon cutting.

The center, located on Flanders Road, was closed in December 2006 for what at first was going to be a $500,000 makeover. But that initial appropriation was increased to $4 million by the Town Board in 2006 when plans for the center changed after area residents began petitioning the town for a more up-to-date center, similar to the one on Ponquogue Avenue in Hampton Bays. The $500,000 was to install new flooring and windows throughout the center and to give the building a new coat of paint.

Another reason for the expansion was a finding by Sandpebble Builders, a Southampton firm hired as a consultant on the project, that the condition of the building required that some sections be torn down and rebuilt.

In April 2007, four months after the center was closed, the Riverhead-based architectural firm Beatty, Harvey and Associates drew up blueprints for the expansion.

When it re-opens in January, the new multipurpose facility will function as a community center as well as an emergency preparedness base. The 7,200-square-foot first floor of the center will be updated with the latest wireless and computer technology. The basement will contain 2,250 square feet of usable space.

Chris Sheldon, a member of the Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Community Association, said he was looking forward to the grand opening.

“We’re very happy,” he said.

Since the center shut down in 2006, taking away the association’s regular meeting place, the group has been gathering at the Phillips Avenue School in Riverside.

The Flanders Citizens Advisory Committee, which currently meets at the Flanders Men’s Club, also plans to use the new facility for its meetings.

The center is named after David W. Crohan, a 40-year Flanders Fire Department veteran and community activist who died in June 2004.

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