Pembroke: Rehab or replace Community Center?

Residents in Pembroke come together at its community center for the arts festival, parades, ice skating on the green, recreation programs, the food pantry and much more. Many residents remember attending elementary school there. But the 78-year-old building has suffered delayed maintenance. Now the Selectmen have agreed to form a committee to determine the building’s fate – rehab or raze.

An assessment of Pembroke’s Community Center last month found the building in deteriorating condition. Asked at Monday Night’s selectmen’s meeting if he had grounds to condemn the structure, building inspector George Veery said, “Yes.”

Selectmen say they hope to appoint a committee at their next meeting to propose solutions.

The Chairman of the Board of Selectmen, Dan Trabucco, stressed the needs assessment role of the committee. The Community Center currently houses the recreation department and after-school sports, the Center Pre-School, the town’s food pantry and the Commission on Disabilities.

“This new committee’s going to be charged with developing a plan on what the town needs so that we can size the building to those needs,” Trabucco said.

Selectman Greg Hanley proposed a nine-month charge for the committee and a charge to conduct a cost/benefit analysis of renovating or replacing the building.

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About Charles Mathewson

Charles Mathewson worked in print journalism for more than two decades as a reporter and editor, and has won several regional and national awards. He resides in Plymouth where he writes fiction and paints, when not producing award-winning news as a reporter for WATD.