Dozens of residents, community leaders and government officials turned out Tuesday, Aug. 6 to celebrate the official transfer of the Quinta-Gamelin Army Reserve Center to the Town of Bristol for use as a community center.
The building boasts more than 18,000 square-feet of indoor space and occupies 5.3 acres. Over the next year, the building will undergo renovations, creating a game room, adult community room, full gymnasium, fitness and exercise equipment, a full service kitchen, among other amenities, said Walter Burke, head of Bristol’s Parks and Recreation department.
Roughly $1 million of a $9 million bond referendum approved by voters last November has been earmarked to fund the renovations.
The ceremony started with a blessing of the building by Rev. Barry Gamache, pastor of St. Mary's Church in Bristol.
Arthur Gamelin, at right, died in Word War II. Bristol's new community center will retain his name, as well as John Quinta, to honor their legacy.
Arthur Gamelin relic.
Members of the Quinta-Gamelin family: From left, Kathleen and John Furtado of Bristol, and Elizabeth Pepere of Sakonnet, are first-cousins of John Quinta. Judy Ciociola of Bristol, far right, is the great-neice of Arthur Gamelin.
Bristol Parks and Recreation Department Chair Walter Burke looks on as 7-year-old Amelia McGovern leads the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance.
The children of Camp Poppasquaw, as well as dozens of community members and government leaders, turned out for the Quinta-Gamelin transfer ceremony Tuesday.
Base Transition Coordinator Col. Gary Puryear presents a symbolic key to Bristol Town Administrator Antonio Teixeira and Bristol Town Councilwoman Mary Parella during Tuesday's Quinta-Gamelin Community Center key transfer ceremony.