Fayette County

Non-profit Manchester Center to close

There will be no Christmas dinner, no senior bingo; the pre-school will close, and summer programs are cancelled because the Manchester Center announced Friday it will close.

The center, located at 522 Patterson Street, has served the Irishtown area of Lexington since 1940. It is the victim of the overall stagnant economy, board president David Verville said. The doors will close June 30.

"Much like all the other non-profits in Lexington, the center has had its troubles financially, and donations have been down across the board," he said.

The center was originally used as a library but has expanded its services to include community events such as a Halloween carnival, a Thanksgiving dinner and a spring carnival.

It is also a source of social-service referrals for neighborhood residents, and it operates a pre-school and other programs for children and teens.

"We touch a lot of people," Verville said. "We have a lot of ties to the community."

The building that houses the center is leased from the city.

The board is working on a plan to dispose of physical assets, such as equipment and supplies. It is also working to make sure other social-service referral agencies are available to help residents before the doors close in June.

Verville declined to cite a dollar amount needed, but he said "there would always be the hope" that some benefactor could come to the aide of the non-profit center.