Delaware Technical Community College is interested in locating a diesel mechanic training program at the old firehouse now occupied by the Appoquinimink Boys & Girls Club in downtown Middletown.
“We did approach the town [government] and asked if they had any surplus space where we could start a diesel mechanic training program,” said DelTech spokesman Christine Gillan.
The need for diesel mechanics in the region is at a “critical stage” and DelTech is responding to the need of employers, Gillian said, adding that “diesel mechanics are desperately needed.”
At this point, the college’s plans are in the “very preliminary’ stage,” she said. The talks between DelTech and town officials have been going on for a few months about potentially using part or all the space.
If the project moves forward, architects and other experts would have to let the college know if the space is usable for the program. The college needs more information before proceeding, Gillan said.
DelTech hasn’t reached the stage with the town government to decide if the college would lease or buy the property, she said.
Currently, the Boys & Girls Club uses the building. It’s unclear what would happen to the club if DelTech uses the space.
Phone calls to the club were not returned by the Transcript’s press deadline Tuesday morning. The Transcript emailed Middletown Mayor Kenneth L. Branner Jr., who didn’t reply by the Tuesday deadline. Also, a phone call to the town spokesperson asking for the mayor’s comment wasn’t returned by the mayor by the deadline.
According to the organization’s website, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware offers affordable before-, after- and out- of-school programs for more than 30,000 young people in grades K-12 at 43 locations across Delaware.
The organization is the largest licensed childcare provider in the state.
Angela M. Mugavero has a daughter who has been attending the club in Middletown for the past couple years. She’s concerned about the future of the organization at that site and she emailed the mayor about it.
“The staff is outstanding. The assistance they provide for the kids (not just mine), like homework assistance with volunteer educators, educational programs and equipment made available to the children, makes the Boys & Girls Club not only a ‘daycare’ but a pillar in our community” she said in an email to Branner.
“They do so much to serve the children of our community. It truly baffles me as to why you would want to take this away from our children,” she wrote the mayor.
“Please tell me Mayor Branner, if you plan to take away the Boys & Girls Club, what do you plan to replace it with? What other safe, education rich solutions have you planned for the children of our community?”
Branner replied to Mugavero with a one-sentence email which read: “You need to talk to the Boys & Girls Club and get the facts.”
In a telephone interview, Mugavero said she doesn’t mind if the town sells the property to DelTech, but she wants the mayor to provide options on where the Boys & Girls Club would go if needed.