Recent talks of a new Wayland community center progress


Credit: Courtesy of the Wayland Community Center Feasibility Study

Pictured above is the proposed blueprint for the new community center. The building would be constructed right next to the Wayland Town Center with access from Route 20. “[We felt as if] we needed to provide the seniors in town with a place where they could go and do a lot of activities,” said former finance committee member Bill Steinberg.

Jimmy Paugh and Taylor McGuire

Over the past few years, there has been a lot of discussion pertaining to the possibility of constructing a new community center in Wayland. During the past several weeks, the discussion progressed to the point where a request-for-proposal(RFP) has been issued by the town of Wayland. The purpose of the RFP is to solicit bids for either land or an existing building that fits certain credentials, according to the document.

The possibility of building a new community center initially became a realization when a group of people claimed that the current town hall is incapable of hosting the seniors in town, because the rooms aren’t suitable for the activities being held there.

“[We felt as if] we needed to provide the seniors in town with a place where they could go and do a lot of activities,” former Wayland finance committee member Bill Steinberg said. “We wanted this place to be better than the rooms in the town building, [whether it be] for cards, games, movies or crafts such as knitting.”

After it was established that this community center would primarily serve as a place for the elderly, more and more people began to believe that the center would be helpful for the younger generations as well.

“If you look at the time of day when this community center would be most functional for the older folks, it would be during the daytime,” said Wayland selectman Tom Fay. “So, during the evening hours, the community center could also be used by younger residents.”

The RFP states that the town is seeking proposals from one or more entities in town for either the purchase of land or lease of an existing building. Although both options are viable, the town would rather purchase land and design their own building appropriately, according to the bid.

According to the proposal for the community center, the new building would ideally have at least 14,750 square feet of space and 125 parking spaces. The ideal spot for the construction of the community center is next to the Wayland Town Center because of the easy access to Route 20.

The proposed construction would cost roughly $4,580,830 and the proposal document states that the town anticipates entering into an agreement with a landlord by Jan. 21 of next year.

“Some of the seniors want to have their activities in a room that someone has specifically designed [for their purposes] because the town building was initially built as a school,” said Steinberg.

The new community center wouldn’t just provide the different clubs and organizations in town with another place to meet, but it would also make Wayland more cohesive. Additional opportunities to come together as a community would arise, resulting in a more tightly knit community.

“Unfortunately, Wayland is one of the few area towns that does not have a community center,” said Fay. “[But] a well-run community center serves as a thriving hub of activity for youth, families, senior citizens, civic organizations, parks and recreation departments and more.”

Whether a new community center seems to be in store or not, we’ll have to wait to find out.

“Assuming some [entity] submits a proposal based on the RFP, then there would be an article for town meeting which will include the costs of the project,” said Steinberg. “Then, the residents of Wayland would vote [in the town meeting] on whether they are willing to spend this [sum of] money on the new community center or not, and it would take two-thirds of the vote in order for [the article] to pass.”

Only time will tell what’s in store for the Wayland community.