Falmouth Selectmen Change Course on Senior Center; Gus Canty Center Their New Choice

KA_FalmouthGus canty community center 5_111215FALMOUTH – A new senior center in Falmouth won’t be placed on site 3, otherwise known as the High School property.

If a measure passes at next month’s town meeting, it will be located at the Gus Canty Community Center.

Selectmen voted to strike the high school site from consideration during Monday night’s board meeting, after extensive public comment, including members of the girl’s field hockey team, many of whom expressed concern about such a project temporarily or permanently robbing them of field practice space.

The board previously aligned on choosing that site with some apprehension, but the course of events at Monday’s meeting changed their minds.

Selectmen Chair Doug Jones had clarified at last month’s selectmen’s meeting that, should the high school location be chosen, ground breaking on the senior center would not begin until a replacement field is completed.

But part of the school’s girl’s field hockey team showed up to the meeting to speak against that site. Athletic Director Kathleen Burke said that any building on school property takes space away from that which could be used for practice or games.

Selectmen Samuel Patterson and Megan English Braga both agreed that a building which consolidates the needs of multiple town demographics would be favorable.

“There’s a beauty in something that’s a community center, that serves people of all ages throughout the stages of life,” Braga said.

Many speaking at the meeting agreed, citing issues with accessibility to the school, its location, limited parking and additional concerns about future sports field limitations.

The town has spent years determining where to place the new senior center. The current facility on Dillingham Avenue has been deemed too small.

Falmouth voters approved $300,000 to be spent on the design of a new Senior Center building at Special Town Meeting in April.

Previously, the board considered purchasing the Coonamessett Inn for the center, but ultimately decided against it on the basis of expense.

The measure to place a senior center within the Gus Canty site will require approval from town meeting voters next month.

By ADAM FORZIATI, CapeCod.com NewsCenter