The Cazenovia Area Community Development Association (CACDA) is currently undertaking a project to see if there is both a desire and a need by the Cazenovia community to have facilities and programs for local senior citizens and stay-at-home/homeschooling parents.
The idea has garnered interest from officials at the Fayetteville YMCA for possible Cazenovia satellite programs, so to see exactly what is needed and wanted in Cazenovia, CACDA has scheduled two needs assessment focus groups in January to receive community input.
“We are not looking to replace any existing community programs; we’re just looking to enhance them,” said Lauren Lines, CACDA executive director.
This idea began while CACDA board members discussed their current GoCaz project and considered what indoor recreational facilities currently exist in Cazenovia and what the need for such indoor facilities is, Lines said.
Lines and CACDA board member Tom Long then reached out to the Cazenovia community and formed a committee of interested stakeholders, which includes members of CACDA, Common Grounds, Cazenovia College, Cazenovia Central School District, the Cazenovia Youth Recreation Program and the general community. Officials with both the Cazenovia Area Seniors Association (CASA) and Community Resources for Independent Seniors (CRIS) have also shown interest in working with the committee, Long said.
The committee has been talking with the executive director of the Fayetteville YMCA, who expressed “a lot of interest to have satellite programs in Cazenovia,” Long said.
The programs would be similar to what the YMCA currently offers: programs and activities for senior citizens, and programs and activities for the children of stay-at-home parents and homeschoolers, including opportunities for the parents to leave their children for a specific program or time period and “get a break” for a while, Long said.
But first, the committee — and the YMCA — needs to see what sort of interest there is in Cazenovia — which is why they have scheduled two needs assessments focus groups for January. The focus groups will not be lectures or simple paperwork surveys, but discussion groups led by YMCA officials to have attendees answer specific questions about the need for programs in Cazenovia, Long said.
The first focus group, for senior citizens programs, is scheduled for 11 a.m. Monday, Jan. 12, at St. James Catholic Church. The discussion will be led by Kelly Miner, interim executive director of the Fayetteville YMCA.
The second focus group, for stay-at-home parents and homeschooling parents, is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 17, at the Cazenovia Public Library.
Because there is no one building for this potential project, the committee is looking at a “decentralized format,” which may also allow some of the community’s under-utilized facilities to get more use, Lines said.
While the potential locations of programs will not be seriously discussed until after the two needs assessment focus groups have occurred and the feedback been processed, the CACDA committee is currently looking at the second floor of village hall, the Cazenovia American Legion building and local churches.
YMCA officials said it is “not feasible” to build/create one building to house the potential programs in a community of Cazenovia’s size, and they have a “good track record” of doing the decentralized approach, Long said.
“A lot of people drove to Fayetteville or Manlius for programs like these, and if we can keep more people in Cazenovia it’s better for our vitality,” Lines said.
For more information, contact CACDA at 655-7651.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at [email protected].