PRESS RELEASE                                                                                                  

Jim Leydon  

Communications Director

Office of Mayor Domenic J. Sarno

July 31, 2013 –Springfield, MA- Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, Health and Human Services Commissioner Helen Caulton, Executive Director of Parks, Buildings, and Recreation Management Patrick Sullivan, Park Commission Chairman Brian Santaniello and Disability Commissioner Robert Klupa have announced the funding of $80,000 to provide upgrades to the Liberty Branch Library in order to offer senior services currently being housed at the Raymond Sullivan Safety Complex on Carew Street.

The Library Commission had completed a study of the branch libraries and when Mayor Sarno learned the Liberty Branch was recommended for closure he requested Ms. Caulton-Harris and Mr. Sullivan develop an alternative use for the building and the city-owned land adjacent to it.  It was determined the best use of the property would be to offer programming for neighborhood seniors. Since the closing of the Hope Center it has been difficult to share space at the Raymond Sullivan Public Safety Complex. The upgrades to the Liberty Street facility will include restrooms, a kitchenette, an ADA entrance and a conference room.

The study completed by the Mayor’s cabinet members further recommended establishing a neighborhood park on vacant land adjacent to the library.  Mayor Sarno directed the Park Commission to apply for the Commonwealth’s PARC Park Renovation Grant.  The grant has been submitted and the city will be notified of its outcome in November.  The Mayor has requested that the Park Commission formally name the park in honor of Mary Troy.  Mary was the former Director of the Hungry Hill Senior Center and advocated vigorously for both senior and neighborhood improvements.  The park will include a playground, walking path, and landscape improvements.

Mayor Sarno stated, "I am ecstatic about the proposed improvements. The reuse of the library offers a positive environment for our seniors. The space will be triple in size and will provide for the opportunity to increase the exercise area, distribute meals and schedule exciting events.  I am also pleased to honor Mary Troy by naming the new park in her memory.  Mary worked tirelessly for this community and her name deserves to live on so future generations know the importance of Mary Troy’s legacy of civic responsibility and what an effective advocate can do for a community."

“We are pleased to be a part of the rebirth of the Liberty Branch Library and to provide additional park land in the Hungry Hill neighborhood,” said Park Commission Chairman Brian Santaniello.  “I had the good fortune to work closely with Mary Troy as a City Councilor and this neighborhood has benefited greatly over the years because of her unselfish devotion to the community.”

Health and Human Services Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris stated; "The commission on disability was instrumental in making this project happen". The commission allocated resources to insure that this senior center was ADA assessable. Without their support this project would not have been possible"

Patrick Sullivan stated, "It has been a pleasure to work with the Mayor, the Park Commission and Commissioner Caulton-Harris in establishing the reuse of this property. I am thrilled that our Mayor has found the resources to implement this exciting project.  It is a proud day for Hungry Hill to have a park named in honor of Mary Troy and we thank her family for allowing her name to be placed on this new park. It will become a focal point for the neighborhood and a venue for all residents to enjoy."

Hungry Hill Senior Center & Mary Troy Park Event Photos

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Page last updated:  Friday, August 02, 2013 04:53 pm