CCTF Targets W.A. Wilde Building
by Bobby Blair 5/14/13
Potential building sites for a new community center didn't enter discussions at Monday night's meeting of the Community Center Task Force. Task Force members have zeroed in on the W.A. Wilde Building on Summer Street pictured below as the most desirable spot for a community center.
According to Task Force members the W. A. Wilde building has recently been sold to a non-profit organization and passing of papers is expected sometime in late May or June. Committee members are unsure of the new owner's plans, but would like to pitch the idea of the town leasing the building with an option to purchase at some point. The idea of a community center to house a Senior Center along with room for the Parks and Recreation Department has been talked about for over a year at selectmen's meetings.
Given the large size of the Wilde building, several square foot figures were given at the meeting of over 85 thousand square feet. Task force members are in hopes of optimizing the building to many town departments. A survey is being issued to town departments requesting current information such as current space being utilized and cost of maintaining said space. The committee is aware of several departments beside the Senior Center and Parks and Recreation who have growing pains or have outdated space.
The Fire Department currently rents space on Pope Road to house the departments Engine #4. Holliston's Veterans Agent John Givner who serves the towns of Ashland, Hopkinton and Medway is currently located in cramped space at Ashland Town Hall. The idea of placing Engine #4 at this location along with one of the town's ambulance also surfaced. Selectman Kevin Conley who attended the meeting was in favor of seeing a new center have a function hall so the building would have money coming in from rentals. Conley stated that the local Lion's Club has outgrown it monthly meeting quarters at Resturant 45 in Medway and he'd like to see Holliston money stay in town.
There was also talk of moving the Highway Department to the Summer Street location which would include the Water Department if a DPW is created in town. Several selectmen and members of the task force have already visited the site according to Task Force Chairman Carl Damigella. Task Force members plan to seek out the new owner's intentions for the building and show the town's interest in leasing or renting the building.
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