FAIRMONT – A series of both lucky and unfortunate events has allowed PlayWorks to expand its Fairmont presence and now it has officially opened a new building.
PlayWorks is an organization that prides itself on providing “a safe, supportive and most importantly fun place for children to grow up.” They offer services such as speech therapy, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and preschool services.
Until recently, the Fairmont branch of PlayWorks operated out of the Disability Action Center. Due to the major flooding that hit the DAC, many parts and installations used by PlayWorks in the building were damaged and unusable.
Fortunately, PlayWorks was already planning to expand to a new location. According to Mike Lentz, owner of PlayWorks, the operation at Fairmont was beyond the space it had.
“We went beyond the space we had at DAC, they were fantastic partners, we would have stayed there forever if we could have created more space,” Lentz said.
The PlayWorks move was initially planned much later, likely around Labor Day. However, due to the unforeseen flooding, plans were accelerated and PlayWorks was able to start moving into the new building earlier than expected.
“Our space that we didn’t have enough became a flooded space,” Lentz said. “We closed the building on June 25… the building is ready to move in, but not PlayWorks ready to move in. We are moving in really early out of necessity due to the flooding.”
As one can imagine, many of the activities and programs offered by PlayWorks require specialized facilities. Despite this, PlayWorks is moving ahead with its move and hosting a smooth opening.
The new Locust Avenue location has several advantages. It’s much more spacious and will allow for growth, something PlayWorks has seen a lot since its debut in 2005.
One program that Lentz is enthusiastic about is a workshop on activities of daily living. This will be used by some of the older PlayWorks customers and show them how to learn a lot of basic skills.
The ADL workshop will require a full kitchen, bedroom, and other basic living spaces.
“We will have a full ADL apartment inside [the new location]”Lentz said.” We will also have a larger physiotherapy room. It will help us tremendously in some of the things we do. “
The new location at 1712 Locust Ave opened on June 6. The Fairmont branch will resume full operations for the remainder of the summer. Lentz and PlayWorks are planning a big reopening event when the school resumes session.
“We’re going to have a big dedication ceremony somewhere around the start of the school year,” Lentz said. “For now, we’re just going to have a smooth opening, see what we need and sort things out as we go so that we can have a big event for our customers.”
Lentz and their PlayWorks team are passionate about their work, and it certainly won’t take long for the building to take the perfect shape for them and their clients.
“We’re going to move walls and raise the ceilings and get everything exactly the way we want it to,” Lentz said. “We’re going to make it our own home.”
PlayWorks in Fairmont is officially open at their new Fairmont location. For more information about PlayWorks and their services, visit their website at www.playworkscdc.com.