Former Franklin school transformed into community center
The building is now the Bessie Rowell Community Center, and it’s as busy, or busier, than ever, said Krystal Alpers, the city’s Parks and Recreation director. It is now home to the Parks and Recreation Department, the Tiny Twisters Day Care Center, and the city’s Head Start and Early Head Start programs.
“This is a building that sat unused, but in the past year we’ve turned it into a vital building again,” Alpers said. “There are so many things going on, it’s busy here until 9 p.m. on some nights.”
“Our local coalition continues to work towards the overall goals of the HEAL program, and certainly changing and focusing on policy and practice is what we’re aiming to do. We want to make change on a broad level,” said Melissa Rizzo, a Lakes Region General Hospital healthcare community educator and the Greater Franklin HEAL co-coordinator.
The community center has a number of other healthy eating and active living initiatives in place, including a new natural playground and the Early Sprouts seed-to-table gardening curriculum. They also plan to add raised gardens and a mural depicting the center’s HEAL philosophy.
“This spring there will be a celebration event that will help bring awareness to the community about the initiatives focused on healthy eating and physical activity at Bessie Rowell Community Center. We want to let the community know that this place is about healthy families.”