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Story - Education

Oct 5, 2010 5:50 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

New preschool and kid center at East Hampton Indoor Tennis

Oct 5, 2010 5:50 PM

WAINSCOTT—Hampton Kids began as an idea when Scott Rubenstein, owner of East Hampton Indoor Tennis Club, thought there needed to be a local place where kids could play, learn and have birthday parties.

Three years later, the preschool and kids center, hosted in the camp building across from the Tennis Club, is ready for its grand opening on Saturday.

“I was always listening to parents talk about bringing their kids up the island to find something for their kids,” he said. “So I said, there has to be something here local.”

In March, Mr. Rubenstein decided it was time to get moving on his idea. He told Susana Kusanovic, the pro shop manager of the tennis club, that he wanted to do something for kids. From there, Ms. Kusanovic hired Tara Kochanskyj, a teacher at Hampton Bays Elementary School, as a co-director.

Seven months later, the near 10,000-square-foot building has been almost completely renovated. All of the walls have been freshly painted, most of the wood floors have been redone, the building will be supplied with computers and Xbox games, and the downstairs has been equipped with new bathrooms.

Ms. Kochanskyj says Hampton Kids, which will be open seven days a week, is similar to a country club, but for youngsters up to 12 years old—although plans to have teen nights or something similar are also in the works. A membership to Hampton Kids grants full access to all facilities either five days a week, or seven days a week, depending on the membership bought.

Annual memberships range from five days a week for the price of $375 to seven days a week for the price of $750. Family memberships are available from $300 for five days a week to $1,000 for seven days a week.

Or, if a child attends Hampton Kids for the day and wants to take a class, then there is the option of just paying between $5 and $20 per day instead of buying a full membership.

Preschool classes are also offered in which kids can create science experiments and make homemade play dough. After-school care and drop-in day care for parents on the run are also available. Drop-in child care prices range from $10 to $30, depending on how long the child is there for, and after-school care prices range from $25 to $90, depending on how many days the child is being cared for.

Unlike most country clubs, though, members do not need to be potty-trained, Ms. Kochanskyj said. She isn’t concerned about that being a problem, as she already has a plan to show the kids the benefits of using a toilet.

“You put food coloring in the toilets,” Ms. Kochanskyj said. “Green or blue. They love it.”

Enrichment classes such as art, yoga and dance are also available. And for sports, Hampton Kids has a baseball field, eight indoor tennis courts, 20 outdoor tennis courts and inside there is a bounce house equipped with a slide.

For birthday parties, a limit of 20 kids per party is enforced. The kids can sing karaoke in the neon-colored room downstairs, eat pizza and cake, play games and paint. Birthday party prices range from $300 to $700 depending on the package.

“There’s nothing like this out here,” Ms. Kochanskyj said.

Mr. Rubenstein said not only is Hampton Kids a place for learning but it also is a big source of employment. He thinks the total number of employees hired will end up being 25 to 30. “We think we may have something where people can have fun,” he said, “but also employ a lot of people.”

Hampton Kids will be closed during the summer when Teen Hampton, a summer camp, rents the space.

Admission to the Hampton Kids grand opening is free all day Saturday, and every child under 12 can attend one enrichment class for free.

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Hi Miss Ofrais!!! Sooooo thrilled for you and your newest adventure!!! This couldn't be happening to a nicer person, and wonderful teacher! We are so glad that so many people will be able to share in you and your many talents! As a teacher, and as a friend, we miss you terribly here at HB Pre-K! But our loss is Hampton Kids' gain! Can't wait to come and see you and check it out!! xoxo Love "MG" :o)
By honeylamb (71), East Quogue on Oct 9, 10 3:19 PM
with those numbers chuckie cheese is moving east
By asurest (117), easthampton on Oct 10, 10 3:23 PM
Scotts a great guy, wish him all the best....
By Jon (4), Easthampton on Oct 10, 10 10:24 PM
These are really nice, caring people, good luck to all of you!
By Talbot77 (53), southampton on Oct 13, 10 1:45 PM
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