NORTH ADAMS -- With new lines on the floor, the gymnasium of the North Adams Armory can now host volleyball in addition to the winter basketball leagues that it is already home to, but city administrators are envisioning it as the home of a community center in the not-too-distant future.
"With two rounds of Community Development Block Grant funds left before its completion, we’re going to need to sit down as a community and discuss what is going to go there," Mayor Richard J. Alcombright said Wednesday during a meeting of the city’s Parks and Recreation Commission, which currently oversees the building.
"We envision it as a community center of some sort" he said. "How it is managed and what it is used for is what we’ll need to determine. I can see it being used for everything from youth basketball to folks walking there in the morning or even an archery range in the basement. There are so many things that can be located in the office space -- we’ve been approached by the local food pantry and we could locate our emergency shelter there. We still have a lot of thinking to do. Our intent is to see it move forward as a community center."
He said that over the next few weeks, he’ll begin meeting with Administrative Officer Michael Canales and Community Development Director Michael Nuvallie to begin looking at sustainable models in other communities.
"We’ve begun to look at various models
The mayor emphasized that while a youth program may be in the armory’s future, he sees it being used as a community center in the broadest sense of the meaning.
"There are plenty of uses for it during the day, that wouldn’t involve sports or youth," Alcombright said. "We need to have some creative discussions, both in-house and with the greater community."
Nuvallie said that work on "phase 5A" -- work being completed from last year’s Community Development Block Grant -- is currently being finished.
"We’ve been able to overlay volleyball lines on the basketball court and to have a new door put in that uses a swipe-card entry system," he said. "The sprinkler system has been installed and is being inspected. We’ve also been able to remove the failing staircase."
Window replacements in the gymnasium were delayed because of the custom order needed for the job, but Nuvallie said he hopes to have the windows in place during the first week of December.
"In about two weeks, we’ll begin the next phase rehabilitation, which is interior cleanup of the office spaces on the first and second floors," he said. "Next year, we’ll finish up the tenant phase and the last phase will be the parking lot."
The work is being funded by a portion of a $900,000 Community Development Block Grant awarded to the city in June.
To reach Jennifer Huberdeau, email