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Bids Sought For Rebuilding Community Center Hit By Tornado


Four years after a tornado destroyed a neighborhood community center, officials in Springfield, Massachusetts are seeking construction bids for a new center.

FEMA agreed to pay up to $9.2 million to build a new South End Community Center. It will be located in a park several blocks from the building that was hit by the tornado on June 1, 2011. 

The new center will be in a two-story building with a gymnasium, exercise room, offices, and multi-purpose rooms.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno said he is excited to see the project go out to bid because it is a step toward the city’s recovery from the devastating tornado.

" About 99 percent of the tornado-ravaged areas have been rebuilt, or plans are in place for  the brick and mortar, said Sarno.

The community center is of particular significance to Sarno. He was the executive director before his election  as mayor in 2007.

The record-setting tenure of Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno. The 2011 tornado and its recovery that remade the largest city in Western Massachusetts. The fallout from the deadly COVID outbreak at the Holyoke Soldiers Home. Those are just a few of the thousands and thousands of stories WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill has covered for WAMC in his nearly 17 years with the station.