Town officials laud success of Riverfront Community Center

By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Glastonbury - posted Thu., Nov. 15, 2012

Calling it a successful seven years since the Riverfront Community Center opened in 2005, the Glastonbury Town Council heard an update on the use of the center at its meeting on Nov. 13. Town Manager Richard Johnson said a building use guide was created when the building first opened, and some changes to that guide may be on tap.

“Since that time, I think the building has operated very successfully,” Johnson said. “It's a great building for town activities.”

While the primary use of the building has been for town programs, including the Glastonbury Senior Center, there has been a variety of use by other organizations, businesses and private functions. Director of Human Services Patricia Schneider, who oversees the building's use, has often been contacted from within and outside of the state about the building and its successful policies, Johnson said.

Johnson said that his staff has visited several other facilities, both in town and in the surrounding area, and determined that the RCC compares well.

The building's fee schedule for private uses has also generated revenue, as the building has become popular. “It can be a difficult reservation,” Johnson said, adding that during the upcoming budget process, there would be some recommended tweaks forthcoming to the fee schedule.

Schneider said that although demand is high, when a conflict arises between private and town usage of a particular room, negotiations tend to go smoothly. “We've had very few complaints, which is phenomenal when you think of the usage,” she said, adding that a change of rooms works to satisfy the conflict, or perhaps moving a town program to another building or another time.

“People have been pretty good about that,” Schneider said. “I think a lot of it is in how you approach it.”

The center was considered a success when it was first built, by converting a former oil tank farm into the crown jewel of a still-expanding Riverfront Park project. The property was first acquired by the town in 1999. Brownfields assessments took place through 2002 and remediation activities were completed in 2004. The entire project, of which the Riverfront Community Center was a part, won an award from the American Academy of Environmental Engineers in 2005.

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