Reading invites comments on new seniors/community center

READING, MA – Reading is looking to add a new senior/community center in town. A new survey asks community members to help shape the plans.

The survey was opened on Thursday morning and will remain available until the end of September. The results are confidential, according to the city, seeking to assess community priorities for a possible new facility.

Currently operating from the Pleasant Street Center at 49 Pleasant Street in Reading, the city’s seniors and human services division has recently experienced capacity issues, the city said.

A report 2017 from UMass Boston and the City of Reading assessed some of these concerns, pointing to a variety of issues.

“Increasingly, space limitations have limited opportunities to expand programming and introduce updated design features into the existing space,” said in its recent survey announcement, citing the 2017 report.

The report noted the increase in Reading’s elderly population before recommending improved accessibility to the Pleasant Street Center, a public awareness campaign about existing services for seniors in the city and a possible expansion of facilities at the Division of social services, among other things.

“In response to these challenges, the City of Reading is engaged in a planning process to explore the development of a new seniors center or community center that provides new opportunities for programming expansion and new features” , the city said this week.

A new senior/community center project being considered would be dubbed the Reading Center for Active Living, according to the city.

While the 2017 report made recommendations, it did not provide details on the scope of possible facility expansions or the financial cost of these expansions.

Reading’s ongoing community survey is open to all members of the Reading community. It is available online here. Respondents can also call 617-287-7413 or email [email protected] to schedule a time to complete the survey over the phone.

Jill E. Washington