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‘Community Center’ talks commence

Farragut residents came up with exhaustive lists of activities they’d like to see at a community center at a public forum Monday, April 26.

At the top of the list, unsurprisingly, was a pool.

Attendees listed various activities they’d wish to happen in the pool: therapeutic exercises, swim classes, open swim, lap swim and league swim.

Lori Moczadlo specified the pool should be “competition size” with “enough room for spectators” to accommodate Farragut school swim teams, which don’t have a home pool.

She also asked about a splashpad and playground on community center property, for young children to use while older children are, for example, in swim lessons.

“That’s a nice thing to have if there’s room,” she said.

Sherry Hunter encouraged fellow attendees to “dream big,” adding she’d been to community centers that had water park components in indoor pools.

“Like a playground inside, in the pool,” she said, specifying details about slides and such.

Moczadlo also said she’d like to see summer camps for children, or even day camps for toddlers, as well as support groups, such as those for Alzheimer’s or autism.

One woman, whose name was not available, pointed out that any community center also should cater to senior citizens.

“You’ve got a tremendous senior population,” she said, pointing out the Strang Senior Center in Lovell Heights had a membership of almost 3,000.

“It’s totally packed,” she said.

She asked that a Farrragut community center include a game room, computer room and an exercise room.

“If you put something up, have enough parking — that’s key,” she said, lamenting Strang’s perennial parking problem.

Leroy Sims said any community center would need a large room of mostly open space for large events and to rent out.

“But be careful when you go the route of a gymnasium,” Sims said, adding the acoustics of a gym “ruins the ambience” of nice events.

Hunter, who teaches swim lessons, said she’d like to see a multimedia lecture room for education classes.

Kristina Ksarjian, the only youth present, said she’d like to see “a café or something, a social area.”

Amanda Johnson said she would wish for educational classes ranging from tutoring programs to etiquette, college research and job readiness classes.

“There are many, many possibilities,” Brenda McGrath, Farragut High School teacher, said.

The Town held two public forums Monday and Tuesday to collect community opinion on the types of activities a community center should offer. The data will be studied by the Town-chartered Community Center Committee, which will make a recommendation to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen.

“This is the first step in the process,” Committee Chair Jerome Miller said.


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