Framingham – The South Middlesex Opportunity Council (SMOC) announced today, January 14, that it has acquired Suburban Athletic and Child, paving the way for a new Framingham Community Center (FCC).
“The Framingham Community Center will be a transformative community hub offering educational, childcare, recreation and athletic opportunities for families across Greater Framingham,” said SMOC In its announcement.
“The Framingham Community Center project is the result of a collaborative effort involving the City of Framingham, the Boys and Girls Club of MetroWest, the Framingham Police Athletic League, the Framingham School Department, Framingham State University, MassBay Community
College, the MetroWest Health Foundation, the MetroWest Regional Transit Authority, Greater Framingham Community Church, and others who share the goal of bringing the community together to serve identified needs for recreational and educational opportunities for all,” said SMOC.
The Framingham Community Center will create and sustain a venue where an array of recreational and supportive programming can thrive, providing the community at large with a vibrant, engaging and richly diverse environment for advancing the health and social wellbeing of the community, according to the SMOC announcement.
The terms of the deal was not announced by SMOC, but the registry of deeds shows the organization paid $5.775 million for properties at 10-12Roxanna Street and 5-15 Snow Street.
The Framingham Community Center will be located at 10 Roxanna Street.
The Framingham Community Center will have a special focus on reaching out to families who currently have little or no access to youth enrichment, recreational and child developmental activities, said the SMOC announcement.
The Head Start and Child Care programs, which are currently housed at 10 Roxanna St. will continue to be foundation programs at the Center, said SMOC.
Families already participating in these programs can be assured of their continuation. Suburban Child will continue to provide early education and before and after school care to the 240 children currently enrolled. Lesley Kinney will remain as the Director of Suburban Child, said SMOC.
The current Suburban Athletic and Child facility includes indoor and outdoor soccer fields, basketball courts and a swimming pool where swim classes and lessons are offered and where swim teams practice and host meets.
As part of planned improvements, SMOC will expand existing programming, making the Framingham Community Center a true community center for all of Framingham, announced SMOC.
The Center will serve as a new home for the Boys and Girls Club of MetroWest which has been struggling with finding an appropriate site for its diverse programming., said SMOC In its announcement.
The Boys & Girls Club of MetroWest currently is housed at the former St. Stephen’s School on Route 126 in downtown Framingham, after the City bounced them from the Danforth Building., due to major, needed repairs of the City-owned building.
In addition, the Framingham Police Athletic League’s boxing, basketball and mentoring programs will be housed at the FCC.
“SMOC and our community partners see the FCC as a safe place for families, youth and individuals to participate in the many services and programs that will be offered there,” said SMOC’s Executive Director James T. Cuddy. “We share the same vision of a community center where youth and families become empowered leaders with the skills and the confidence to develop self, family and community – enriching their lives and the community at large. I want to thank Mayor Yvonne Spicer for her leadership and members of the Framingham City Council for their support in making this acquisition possible.”
“I envision the Framingham Community Center as a warm, welcoming and valuable resource for families throughout the city,” said Reverend Dr. J. Anthony Lloyd, Senior Pastor at the Greater Framingham Community Church. “I appreciate the efforts of all the community partners who have worked together to turn this vision into a reality and I am excited for the future and the positive impact the FCC will bring to our community.”
The FCC will offer a welcoming space for local youth and families to participate in healthy recreational activities and will be home to vital programming for engaging youth in after-school recreational and youth development activities.
As part of the acquisition, SMOC has partnered on financing the project with Middlesex Savings Bank that will enable renovations, upgrades and additional accessibility of the property. All programs currently located there will continue to function throughout the renovation period, which is scheduled for later this year.