Mayor Daniel L. Bianchi is pleased to announce the opening of a third community center at the newly renovated Wilson Park in Pittsfield. In 2013, a collaboration between the City of Pittsfield and the Pittsfield Housing Authority established community centers at two public housing locations, Dower Square and Francis Plaza. Now a third center will open at Wilson Park, a 127 unit development operated and owned by the PHA. The Community Centers will make a broad range of city services accessible to residents in housing authority managed developments.
Each location features a living room style meeting space for a variety of educational programs and services available to City residents. A host of programs have been held at the Community Centers including, but not limited to, childhood literacy programs, meeting rooms for neighborhood initiatives and committees, sports mentoring and instruction programs, wellness clinics, nutrition and healthy eating cooking demonstrations, and meeting space. The new space at Wilson Park will continue this model but will also focus on being a family resource center with the assistance of programs and agencies devoted to early childhood learning and literacy, like the Berkshire United Way, who will hold regular office hours at the space.
Mayor Bianchi said, “I encourage organizations and community members to take advantage of all three community centers. The centers are a benefit to the neighborhoods and the more programs that utilize them the better they will be for the kids and families in the area. I also want to thank Charlie Smith and the Pittsfield Housing Authority for collaborating with us for the use of their space.”
Two Community Centers have been open since June of 2013. The first is located at Francis Plaza, 44 units of elderly and disabled units in the Westside Neighborhood and the second Community Center is located at Dower Square, 50 units of family housing located on Wahcohnah Street. The new community center is located in Wilson Park which consists of 127 family sized apartment units. Constructed in 1949, the two story multiplexes offer two and three bedrooms each. The entire development has recently been renovated.
The City’s Department of Community Development coordinates a booking calendar for each community center. A program or activity must be deemed suitable for the location by first submitting a letter of intent. Interested parties can contact Justine Dodds to submit the letter of intent either via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone to 499-9367. The Centers are available for use between 9 am and 9 pm.
Charlie Smith, the Executive Director of the Pittsfield Housing Authority said “We are an active partner in promoting these programs. We know that our tenants will benefit if we make city services more accessible. For the PHA, this will be a very low cost program with the potential to see some significant impact for our residents and the community.”
The furnishings were donated by several local businesses, including BBE Office Interiors and General Dynamics.
An open house is scheduled for Tuesday March 24th from 3-5 p.m. at the Wilson Park Community Center at 174 Mohegan Street in Pittsfield. The following programs will be available during the open house:
- Pittsfield Public Schools – Meet and Greet with Conte Community School principal Kerry Light.
- WIC – Nutrition information
- Head Start – Preschool registration
- Berkshire United Way - Family Literacy Outreach Coordinator (Every Child Ready to Read program)
- Berkshire Health Systems Outreach Program – Blood pressure screenings and health education
- Pittsfield Community Connections– Outreach for Mentoring
For more information on the open house or programs contact Justine Dodds, Housing Specialist for the City at 499-9367.