LETTERS

Reopening Buttonwoods Community Center

Posted

To the Editor:

Recently, I was pleased to be a part of the announcement made by Mayor Solomon that the city will be reopening and re-purposing the Buttonwoods Community Center. This building in the heart of the city is a great community asset that seniors, nonprofit organizations, and residents have used for a number of different activities and purposes. 

In early 2017 the previous administration decided to close Buttonwoods Community Center. Knowing we had an active senior population using the space and two tenants paying rent to the city to use the facility, then Council President Solomon and I met with the administration and asked the mayor to reconsider his decision to close the building. I spoke with one of the tenants who agreed to pay additional rent to the city for more space in the building. Community members volunteered to help with labor and supplies to fix the roof. I received calls, letters, and e-mails from the residents of Ward 7 and across the city asking that we keep the community center open. Unfortunately, the previous administration went forward and closed the building, even after the City Council passed a resolution 9-0 to keep it open. While we were very disappointed the building was closed, President Solomon and I along with the entire City Council did not give up the fight, and we continued to look for ways to reopen the facility.   

On the first day Mayor Solomon was sworn in as mayor he told me we were going to reopen the Buttonwoods Community Center. In his first few weeks as mayor, we went over to Buttonwoods, toured the building, and developed a plan. Mayor Solomon had a number of cosmetic repairs made, got the exterior building cleaned, and had landscaping done on the grounds. In the time since, we have spoken with a number of individuals and nonprofit organizations interested in the facility. While we have a number of great options for utilizing the space, the number one goal is to get the community room open again. This community room was and will once again be a great place for our seniors and our residents to gather, play cards, play bingo, and socialize.    

Mayor Solomon and the entire City Council understood from the beginning that Buttonwoods Community Center was more than just a building. It's an important part of our community—a place where people can gather together and enjoy the company of  their neighbors. I thank Mayor Solomon for his leadership in this matter. I look forward to continuing to work with him as we reopen this great community asset. 

Steve McAllister 

City Council Ward 7

Comments

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davebarry109

Steve, where 'ya getting the funds to fix that building? Buying senior votes does nothing for the rest of us.

Wednesday, July 18
richardcorrente

Dear davebarry109,

What if Councilman Steve McAllister could renovate the entire building WITHOUT having to raise any funds from the taxpayers? Would you agree to that?

I will commit to 50 hours of very unskilled labor. How about you? How much of your valuable time will you agree to volunteer? I'm not trying to be confrontational dave. I honestly believe that if a Warwick-wide challenge to "Save Buttonwoods Community Center" is issued by Councilperson McAllister and others, we could get PLENTY of volunteers from roofers, electricians, painters, plumbers, carpenters, and a whole lot of unskilled laborers (put my name at the top of that list) that would be proud to ride by that newly renovated structure and say "I had something to do with that!" When a project like that comes up, it brings out the best in people. McAllister is to be commended for starting the ball rolling. You, me and the rest of Warwick taxpayers need to take the next step. If Steve McAllister makes a sign-up sheet he can put my name on it first. How about you Dave? Will you match me with 50 hours? Anyone else?

Happy Summer everyone.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

Thursday, July 26