by Eva Bunnell
The care of human life and happiness…is the first, and only object of good government,” so said Thomas Jefferson. As a town that boasts a beautiful Senior Center, the “Central Bark” Dog Park, an award-winning public library, a public golf course, and a myriad of outstanding park and recreational program offerings, town officials in Groton clearly takes this credo to heart.
As the town continues its efforts to create relevant, state-of the-art programs, the Groton Town Council, the Parks and Recreation and Public Works staff are currently amid retro-fitting the former Fitch Middle School to become the new community center. However, there’s one thing missing; the new center needs a name.
After conducting a needs assessment in 2009 that helped create the “Groton Parks and Recreation Master Plan,” town officials found that “residents ranked a community center as a top park and recreation facility need.”
The town has operated its Parks and Recreation programs at the former Williams Seely School for the last 15 years. The move to Fitch, allows the town to make “the Seely property available for development,” while at the same time, “saves the town money on operating expenditures.”
According to Mark Berry, Director, Groton Parks and Recreation, “our staff is very excited to move our programs to the new location at the former Fitch Middle School, the physical center of town, right next door to Groton Town Hall.” He shared that, “the new space and location will allow Groton Parks and Recreation to better serve the community through more programming opportunities and the increased proximity to facilities and town services.”
Mark and town staff are hoping the opening of the new center will take place by mid- to- late summer with most programming to begin in February of 2019.
All work completed will, of course, follow ADA requirements, thus ensuring that the center will be accessible and enjoyed by individuals at all levels of ability.
At this point in time, a survey of residents that asked their ideas for the center’s name has been closed. However, it’s not too late to have a say! Groton residents will soon be asked to rank the three-to-four top choice names that came out of the survey for final consideration by Town Council members. For further information please go to: www.GrotonRec.com/CommunityCenterName Be a part of this “new beginning!”