By Ryan Bartolotti
Pembroke Massachusetts, a small town, sandwiched in the South Shore, is adding a vital piece to its community. A new community recreation center.
The already strong community founded by togetherness, sports, and love is adding another instrumental place to build the already thriving community feel.
In December 2022, the board of directors voted that it was finally time to be out with the old and in with the new. At the time, the former recreation center had been there for decades.
The recreation center in Pembroke Massachusetts before renovations began
Now knowing the rec center, right in the center of town, was getting a much-needed facelift, town citizens were very pleased.
“A community is essential to a town because it keeps everyone together”, says 10-year resident, Tracey Clarke. “ I can see this community coming together after the center is built” She recalls how the town has never had a functioning meeting place since she has lived here.
A new landmark of the town, right in the heart of the town, will surely bring out new faces, and friendships.
There has always been a tendency of togetherness in Pembroke, but with the help of this new town gathering spot, the town will be closer than ever.
Jillian Flach, a Senior Citizen resident of Pembroke had this to say when asked about the new city center. “The people of this town all have such great personalities, now we have a place to get together and put ideas together. And bingo!”, she adds excitedly.
Pembroke’s old rec center, and the proposed design of the one to come.
People who have experienced the old town center, will not be opposed to the new renovations. The after-school programs will run flawlessly, with plenty for everyone to enjoy.
“I used to not like going to the rec after school” recalls Anthony Sullivan. “The blueprints for the new one look amazing, however. I would never want to leave, just be with my friends there for hours.”
Things are certainly pointing in the right direction for Pembroke as most of the citizens are really eager to see how this project will turn out into the new focal point of the town.
Project manager Bellelo and his team understand the excitement around this project. Bellelo being a member of the town already, understands the significance the project will have on the community.
“This is a big change for the town. It will be great, but they must understand that this is going to take time. It is a multi-million dollar project, with various cautious steps that must be taken.”
The old recreation center, from behind, as demolition begins.
He later says how this will be in the town for many decades to come and he is happy to be working on something that will have such an impact on the community.
The project is going to set Pembroke back a good amount, however, there is a clear optimism flowing through the town, that once the project is completed the citizens will be able to regain some of that money.
The community center and the space outside, the town green, hold some of the town’s best yearly events. The town tree-lighting ceremony, boosters meetings, boy scouts, and the beloved Easter egg “hunt”.
Implementing a new town rec center will bolster the turnout at these events, bringing the town together.
Art contests and the flea market will now have a great place inside to hold events, instead of out on the town green, as it is referred to.
The town will be able to hold events for charity now with this abundance of space and give back to their community even more. Things are looking up for those looking to get more involved.
Local influencer, Matthew Martin is already looking to bounce on this opportunity. “This is going to be a great new place that I can go and hold events now! We are going to put these people to work!” Martin exclaims.
The town will also gain some of its money back by utilizing the multi-purpose spacing a lot.
With the easy access gymnasium that is planned to be built on the ground floor, this will be a great place for local teams to play, even leagues! Along with this, the surrounding rooms on this floor will be a great place to hold birthday parties and other functions.
Now, the demolition of the old rec center has concluded, and the foundation is being placed and poured. The fourteen-month project is already well underway.
The community in Pembroke is already so close-knit, but with the addition of this flexible building, it will prove to be a timeless addition to the town.
The full interview with Anthony Sullivan can be found below