Presbyterian Community Center closes, childcare facility spared - News, Weather & Sports

Presbyterian Community Center closes, childcare facility spared

Mark Hebert Mark Hebert
Charlie Johnson Charlie Johnson
Rev. David Johnson Rev. David Johnson

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - For possibly the last time, supporters of the Presbyterian Community Center gathered in its gymnasium in a last ditch effort to boost community backing.

"As most of you have heard, the Presbyterian Community Center is closing at the end of business today," said Mark Hebert, a PCC board member.

After announcing the center would move forward with plans to officially shut down Friday, Hebert revealed the facility's child development center, however, would remain intact.

"The child development center is staying open and that's our number one goal with this fundraising mission is to make sure that it has financial stability going forward," said Hebert. "We think we can do that and that shouldn't be a problem."

With PCC board members and local ministers gathered at a podium, the focus then shifted to what it will take to reopen the Presbyterian Community Center at an undetermined future date.

"All we need is 2,000 people to give $100," began Louisville businessman Charlie Johnson. "That will be enough to sustain us until we can advise a better plan as to what we need to do down the road."

"Charlie said his mission is to raise $200,000," began Hebert. "We want to get three months worth of operating expenses in the bank before we reopen PCC. That $200,000 would come awfully close to doing that."

In addition to calling on the public for help, board members are putting their fingers to work and reaching out to outside agencies.

"A couple of us started this morning making those phone calls," said Rev. David Johnson, a PCC board member. "I can tell you right away that everybody does not want to have this place close."

"We was kind of worried there for a minute but after we reviewed the whole picture it was feasible for the childcare center to stay open," said Gail Harwell, PCC Director of Childcare.

Although relieved the child development center had been spared from the chopping block, Harwell said she worries about the impact closing the rest of the center will have on its Smoketown neighbors.

"Our only hope is that we can stay open as an agency meaning the Presbyterian Community Center because we do work as one," said Gail Harwell, PCC Director of Childcare. "We help children here from six weeks to age eight, then they transition to the community center."

However, with the Presbyterian Community Center closing its doors to the public Friday, Harwell said children eight years and older will no longer have the Smoketown staple to transition to.

"Hopefully the community center will be able to open and accommodate the needs of the community once again," said Harwell.

While supporters of the community center celebrate the redemption of the child development center, many pledged to keep pressing forward to reopen the Presbyterian Community Center in its entirety.

"With a lot of prayer, and with Charlie Johnson and others and the help of the community, we think we can do this," said Hebert.

To learn how you can help the Presbyterian Community Center, call (502) 584-0201 or email

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