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Councillor Lawn's Proposal for a Recreation Center in Watertown
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Councillor Lawn's Proposal for a Recreation Center in Watertown

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District D Councillor John Lawn's presentation proposing consideration of building a recreation center on the former Browne School site.

District D Councillor John Lawn's presentation proposing consideration of building a recreation center on the former Browne School site.


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  • 1. Town of Watertown Discussion Document: New Recreation & Community Center Presented by Councilor John Lawn November 28, 2006
  • 2. Introduction As we have begun the steps of relocating the Police Station to the town owned land at the former Browne School - I would like this Council and this Community to think long term about what other possibilities and additional opportunities we have at this site. We have, as a Town, created and supported many bold initiatives throughout our deep history and thankfully, for the most part, our former town leaders have thought long term of future needs. We, as a Council, must also think long term about some of the lasting impacts our decisions today may have on our current citizens but also on future generations of Watertown citizens. Watertown, as we all know, is an ethnically diverse community. We have a lot to offer. What we have also come to realize, due to its dense population, is that we must also be committed to maximizing every opportunity that presents itself to the Town Council We talk and hear a lot about how this town has changed over the last 20 years. It is true that the demographics have changed.
  • 3. Introduction
    • Questions we must ask are:
    • Who do we want to become? What is the Five Year Plan for Watertown?
    • 2020: Where do we want to be?
    • How can we go about it?
    • I want Watertown children to access to the same facilities as the towns that surround us.
    • For example, Watertown High students athletes are struggling to compete. We need to change how we are doing things from the recreation level up to high school level.
    • To that end, I would like to propose opening a town-wide dialogue on Watertown potentially owning and building a Recreation and Community Center”.
    • Councilor John Lawn
    • November 28, 2006
  • 4. Why Do We Need A Recreation & Community Center?
    • A Recreation and Community (R&C) Center will provide and allow:
    • Both programmable and drop-in recreational space currently lacking for local youth, adults and senior citizens activities
    • All leisure providers and the Town of Watertown to coordinate an aggressive campaign to reduce, and hopefully, eliminate youth obesity and maintain a healthy lifestyle for our community
    • Build R&C Center and move Recreation Department
    • Elderly and retired citizens are forced to walk the Mall during the winter (Victory Field Track)
    • Facility will serve ALL RESIDENTS
  • 5. Benefits From Recreation & Community Center
    • What are some of the main benefits the Town of Watertown would realize from a Recreation and Community Center?
    • A Recreation and Community Center would be another on the list of projects (Fire Station, Library, Arts Center & Police Station) where the Town has invested to improve the quality of life in Watertown
    • The R&C Center will provide access to other leisure service providers from activities currently not offered anywhere else in Watertown - for example, Indoor Track (eliminates the need for Seniors to walk in the Mall)
    • The R&C Center will be a destination point for all of Watertown’s citizen and will be open to all.
    • The R&C Center will provide a place for families to spend time together year-round in leisure, health and wellness activities without having to travel outside of our community.
  • 6. Some Of Those Groups Who Would Benefit
    • Seniors
    • Watertown Youth Basketball
    • Cops and Kids-Police Athletic Leagues
    • Community Police (RAD)
    • Watertown Schools
    • Partnerships with Boys and Girls Club - Teen Activities
    • Special Needs Programs
    • Learning Center
    • Voting Place for District D
  • 7. Background
    • Tom Sullivan has been our recreation director for close to 35 years and operates without a facility in the bottom of Town Hall. We need to support him. Other towns are pulling away from us in terms of facilities and programs.
    • We have only (2) legal dimension size gymnasiums in town and have to limit practice time.
    • Indoor track team has trained by running the hallways at Watertown High School
    • West Watertown is in need of neighborhood facilities. Neighborhood has been undergoing change. Park needs to be completely renovated.
    • The site selected for the Police Station is close to 5 acres.
    • We must have programs and facilities to attract young families.
  • 8. Background – Some Interesting Numbers! Watertown is 2 nd in population in Middlesex League.... and last in student population!!! * Numbers taken from Mass Municipal Directory 2006.
  • 9. Background – Some Interesting Numbers! Based on % of Population to Student Population, Watertown ranks last in the Middlesex League. * Numbers taken from Mass Municipal Directory 2006.
  • 10. Major Components: Recreation & Community Center
    • What are some of the major components that will make-up the Recreation and Community Center?
    • Lobby
    • Commercial Kitchen & Function Room(s)
    • Hobby Shop (Woodworking, Pottery et al.)
    • Kids Club
    • Gymnasium
    • Indoor Jogging & Walking Track
    • Locker Rooms
    • Exercise Rooms
    • Climbing Wall
    • Outdoor Play and Picnic Areas
    • Town of Watertown Recreational Department
  • 11. Funding
    • Recreation Budget
    • Fundraising & Donations
    • Developers
    • Grants
    • Harvard/O’Neil Funds
    • General Obligation Bonds
    • Business Sponsor (i.e. Tufts, Mt. Auburn Hospital, NESN)
    • Memberships
  • 12. Next Steps I would like to propose a Special Town Council Meeting and have the Council Members and members of the Community come and listen to ideas and suggestions around this initiative. I would like to hear input from residents, neighbors, youth sports directors, youth coaches, High School coaches, Athletic Director, School Administrators and community groups. If there is an appropriate level of support at the Open Forum, I would propose moving forward with a Town-wide Recreation and Community Questionnaire to appropriately quantify resident interest in this initiative. Meeting: Watertown Free Public Library December 2006/January 2007
  • 13. END