Albert Rukwaro
Special to The Gardner News
Gardner resident Tamela Stockton asked the city council to consider adding the building of a community center on the list of the city’s priorities.
Stockton, who addressed the council during the public comments section of the meeting, told the council that since 2001 Gardner residents have consistently identified a community center as their number one wish for the city.
“The addition of a community center has been discussed since the 2002 Park System Master Plan which was adopted by the city council in February 2002. It was also discussed in detail in the 2004 and 2005 updated plan as a priority for the community,” she said.
She said Gardner residents participated in a survey in 2009 in which they again identified a community center as their highest priority, and the matter was discussed in detail at the council including the approximate costs and features.
“It is now 10 years later, and the community still does not have a place for our citizens to gather as a community. There is little to keep our kids engaged. Recreation sports have all but faded out and our kids have been pushed to competitive sports instead”, she said. Stockton said the city’s senior citizens also lack a place to interact and exercise.
“It is time we provide our citizens with a place to gather and a place to exercise together; a place where we can be a community together,” she said.