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  • Solomon, McAllister Examine Restoring Buttonwoods Community Center

    [CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] The former Buttonwoods Community Center at 3027 West Shore Road.

    WARWICK, RI — Mayor Joseph J. Solomon and Councilman Stephen McAllister (Ward 7) announced Wednesday they’re discussing new uses for Buttonwoods Community Center on West Shore Road, including leasing a portion of the site and continuing local residents’ access to the community room.

    The site may also be used for City department offices, according to a release from Solomon’s office. Lease revenue would be used for maintenance of the building and to help fund programs at the building.

    The city closed the building  March 1, 2017, displacing local residents who  gathered in the community center for card leagues and relocating human services staff, and local non-profit agencies Comprehensive Community Action Program and West Bay Community Action, which leased space there.

    The Warwick City Council had voted unanimously to ask Mayor Scott Avedisian to keep the Buttonwoods Community Center open during its Feb. 22 meeting, but plans to shutter services at the center continued. Seniors who frequented the facility were directed to the Pilgrim Senior Center.

    The center is easy to reach for many seniors, some of whom walked to the center with little trouble.

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    “I heard from so many residents, especially those from Ward 7, but also across the entire city, who were upset that the center was closing,” McAllister said. “For many seniors, Buttonwoods offered a convenient, welcoming place to spend a few hours of the day enjoying various activities and the company of friends. I’m aware that for some people, the time at the center was the only interaction they may have had with others in the course of a day. Having a portion of the center available to them again as a gathering place will surely help to enhance their quality of life, help us to expand the services we offer to our residents and put the building back into productive use.”

    Solomon and McAllister met with Avedisian at the time to work out a plan to keep the center open, but were not successful.

    Solomon said that repairs would have to be made to the building before it could be reopened, but proposed a multi-faceted approach to make the rehabilitation cost-effective.

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     “Working together with some type of public/private partnership, which could also involve trade associations, would be mutually beneficial, allow us to improve the building and would allow us to once again have the facility as a tremendous community asset,” Mayor Solomon noted.

     Solomon said that repairs would have to be made to the building before it could be reopened, but proposed a multi-faceted approach to make the rehabilitation cost-effective.

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