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    Interest growing in Richmond community center workshop

    RICHMOND — If early registrations are any indication, Richmond residents are eager to participate in the Nov. 4 workshop to provide their input on the town’s new community center. They will meet with members of the University of Rhode Island’s senior landscape architecture class to tell the students what kind of facility they want on the Richmond Commons property.

    Town Planner Denise Stetson, who is organizing the workshop, said she also expected many residents to come to the workshop without registering.

    “I don’t have a real handle on many people to expect, so I’m going to go there early, and if we have to start dragging out more chairs, we’ll drag out more chairs,” she said. “They can just show up.”

    Town Council President B. Joseph Reddish said he was encouraged that residents were getting involved in the process. “I’m very encouraged that the community’s getting involved and wanting to help shape the future of Richmond’s first community-recreation center,” he said.

    John Aiello Jr., owner of the 294-acre Richmond Commons property, donated 49 acres to the town, which plans to use 14 acres for a community center. The town asked the 15 students to design the center, and they and their professor, Will Green, will present their ideas and ask for input from the public at the workshop.

    People who can’t come to the workshop can still contribute to the planning process by completing a survey, which Stetson has distributed throughout the town. It is also available on the town’s website.

    “If people cannot come to the meeting, filling out a survey would help,” she said. “I’m going to collect those up until right after Veterans Day.”

    The students will present their final report to the town on Dec. 16.

    “That’s going to be the final point of this exercise,” Stetson said. “Then the committee will go off and we’ll do our huddle and try and figure out where to go from that.” She was referring to the Recreational Needs Assessment Committee.

    Reddish said he was looking forward to hearing the students’ ideas.

    “That should be exciting, to see how the URI students pull together the thoughts and input of the town of Richmond,” he said.

    The workshop will take place on Monday at 7 p.m. at Richmond Elementary School.

    cdrummond@thewesterlysun.com



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