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January 14. 2014 9:33PM

Epping group to study feasibility of opening community center

EPPING — A newly formed committee will soon begin exploring the feasibility of opening a community center in town.

Selectmen OK’d a proposal to organize the committee last week.

The idea was pitched by members of the Epping Youth Coalition.

Coalition member Kim Milliken said the group hopes to put “feelers” out into the community to see if people want a community center.

Once the committee has enough members, its first step will be to survey the community.

“If we don’t see the support, then we’ll move on,” said Sandy Anderson, another coalition member.

While the youth coalition proposed the committee to study the community center idea, members said the center would serve the needs of all members of the community, from youth to senior citizens. It could serve as a meeting place for activities and an emergency shelter, among other uses, according to the coalition.

The town’s senior club was displaced in October 2012 after damage was discovered at Watson Academy, a town-owned building that housed the recreation center and senior club and was used for other community activities. The building remains closed while town officials weigh their options for repairing the damage, which the town claims resulted partly from an earthquake.

The recreation center also remains without a permanent home.

Recreation Director Nicole Bizzaro said the town’s space needs committee looked into the idea of a community center, but only studied existing space and not the possibility of building a facility.

Supporters agreed that while some people may want a community center, finding the money to pay for it may not be so easy.

“Everyone wants something bigger and better, but when it comes to throwing a couple extra dollars of their tax dollars that’s the breaking point right there,” Milliken said.

Selectman Tom Gauthier, board chairman, asked the committee to meet with selectmen in 90 days to present its goals and the names of its committee members.

Anyone interested in serving on the committee is asked to contact Linda Daigle via email at nillalol@yahoo.com

jschreiber@newstote.com


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