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Youth sports and other activities must leave Deer Park Community Center site by Jan. 30

Deer Park Community Center, which hosts youth sports and senior citizen activities in a former school on Homer Avenue owned by the Deer Park School District, must vacate its home by Jan. 30 to make way for needed renovations, school and town officials said.

Similar activities will be offered at another district-owned former school building at 220 Washington Ave. while the Memorial School on Homer Avenue undergoes renovations that are expected to finish next September or October, town spokesman Kevin Bonner said. The locations are about 1 1/2 miles away from each other.

Roughly $125,000 that the town would have put toward Deer Park Community Center activities will be redirected to the Washington Avenue school next year, Bonner said.

Eventually, programs from both locations will be consolidated at the Memorial School, which will serve as a long-term home, Bonner said. "The town is committed to providing the same services for the Deer Park community" and may add some programs once that move has been made, he said.

The Memorial School will also house the district's Instructional Technology department, Superintendent Eva J. Demyen said in a written statement, though the scope of construction and move-in dates are not yet known.

A district plan to sell the Washington Avenue building to developer Engel Burman Group of Garden City has angered some parents in the surrounding neighborhood who say they depend on day care and other services offered at the location. Engel Burman would build as many as 244 units of senior housing there, officials have said.

Officials for the district, which could receive $5 million to $6.6 million if the sale goes through, say the aging building has grown too expensive to maintain. School district voters approved the sale 1,241-677 in a May referendum.

No sale date or price has been set and the organizations renting space there have not been given vacancy notices, according to Demyen's statement.

Some Deer Park parents said this week that there had been inadequate notice of the community center changes.

Bonner said that the town is sending letters to Deer Park families outlining plans and asking parents with questions to call Claire McKeon, youth board executive director, at 631-422-7660.

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