To the editor:
The Town of Bristol will soon be given a wonderful gift by the United States Army and the National Parks Service.
Within the next couple of months we will own the Quinta Gamelin Army Reserve Center located within Colt State Park on Asylum Road.
This beautiful facility borders the East Bay Bike Path and the newly renovated Bristol Town Beach and Sports Complex. This building will be turned into our new Quinta Gamelin Community Center. It will be a gathering place for all Bristol residents to use with a variety of recreational opportunities.
Through a partnership with our Senior Center, Bristol Warren Regional School District and all other organizations, we will create a state-of-the-art recreational complex which will be the best in the State of Rhode Island. It will have a full gymnasium, daycare center, fitness center, arts and crafts, game room, a senior lounge, and eventually an aquatic center. Our summer camp will finally have an indoor facility for the children. Our teens will have a place to go that is supervised and large enough to accommodate them. This new Community Center will also allow for renovation and reuse of the old community center in the Church Street Armory.
The Town of Bristol also has several other buildings that are in need of attention. In 2007 the Bristol Warren Regional School District returned the historic Byfield and Reynolds Schools to the town, and a few years earlier vacated the Walley School. The operation and maintenance of these buildings had been a financial obligation for our town, but during the past two years we have turned what was a financial burden into a revenue generator. By renting classrooms to various organizations and artists we are now operating in the black. These buildings, however, are still in need of some repairs and capital improvements.
By passing question #8 of the Town of Bristol $9 Million Bond Referendum, our town will be able to use $2.5 million dollars to renovate and repair our public buildings. These funds will also be able to leverage additional funds as matching money to several grant opportunities. I respectfully request your support for the passage of Question #8.
Walter V. Burke
Director of Bristol Parks and Recreation