Gary Dolloff, left, director of the Greater Rumford Community Center, and Wayne Sevigny, director of River Valley Recreation in Mexico, look over a map of Wallach’s Field in Mexico, one of six proposed sites for a regional recreation center. Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times

MEXICO — Led by selectmen in Mexico and Rumford, the effort to establish a regional recreation center resumed Aug. 13, months after being suspended by the coronavirus pandemic.

Rumford and Mexico recreation directors, several community members and others have been exploring the types of programs that exist and getting a new facility to replace two older buildings.

Six possible sites are:

• Wallach’s Field on the Roxbury Road in Mexico.

• Mexico Recreation Center on Parker Street, which would be torn down if selected.

• Hosmer Field in Rumford between the football field and the tennis courts.

• Hosmer Field on the other side of the dirt road where there are buildings.

• The old Stephens High School lot in Rumford.

• An area near Hosmer Field on Falmouth Street.

On Feb. 12, both boards voted to share the $9,700 cost of hiring engineer Rob Prue to evaluate the sites. He will be invited to the next recreation study committee meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 24, at the Mexico Town Hall.

Gary Dolloff, director of the Greater Rumford Community Center, said, “We want to make sure it’s a community center. Make sure there’s room for the seniors, room for the kids, room for the middle schoolers, the after-school program.

Mexico Recreation Director Wayne Sevigny has ideas as well, Dolloff said.

The center could include the following:

• Three basketball courts, one of them multipurpose for tennis, pickle ball or other sports.

• A walking track.

• A fitness center with a common room for seniors.

• A swimming pool, a kitchen, a dining area and a room for children.

• A space for gymnastics equipment, wrestling mats and related items.

• Locker rooms.

Rumford Economic Director George O’Keefe said other ideas the committee discussed include a small cafe, a racquetball court, a dance studio and a martial arts studio.

Funding sources being considered include charitable foundations.

On July 14, Rumford voters were asked in a straw poll their response to creating a regional recreation center with other towns. They were in favor, 921-451.

Mexico did not take a poll of voters.


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