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New GRCC opens Tuesday
RUMFORD -- Following the annual maintenance cleanup week, the "new" Greater Rumford Community Center will reopen its doors beginning on Tuesday.
Gary Dolloff, chairman of the center's Board of Directors, said the tentative hours will be 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. There is funding enough so that they will be able to keep one of their employees, Pete Rideout, on a part time basis as he will man the desk during the evening hours.
He said they have a strong core of volunteers and they still have all their coaches for their programs. In addition, they are maintaining the full complement of fall programs and have even added one.
When they reopen Tuesday, they will also host an open house from 3-6 p.m. Coaches of the falls programs will be there as people will be urged to sign up. To see the GRCC fall programs being offered, go to page 7.
Back June 11, voters rejected initiated articles for requests $138,100 for the GRCC and $22,720 for the GRCC summer programs. The town's Charter mandates that while defeated budget articles can come back for a revote, initiated articles cannot.
Shortly after the June vote, Dolloff presented a petition to the Board of Selectmen seeking to change a section of the Charter that prevented the Center from petitioning for a revote after their initiated articles requests for funding donations from the town.
If the Charter revision occurs, it would not be operational until the next municipal year 2014.
Dolloff said they are looking at a one-year operation of the GRCC until they go to the town for funding for 2014-15.
He said that to stay competitive, they will not be charging membership fees for the time being for anyone -- in town or out of town.
There will be program fees and a charge for use of the fitness center. Dolloff noted that the popular gymnastics program will be paying a monthly rent from their program fees for use of their space.
In the near future, Dolloff said he would like to meet with Mexico Rec Director Wayne Sevigny in the hopes each kind find a niche in programs to better sustain recreation in both towns.
Earlier, he said people have raised around $6,000 for the GRCC. Fundraising efforts and donations will be a key role to keep the GRCC open for the winter, with the main concern being to pay for the heating oil for the old facility.
This Friday, there will be a large GRCC benefit at the Rumford Eagles.
From 5-7 p.m. will be a spaghetti dinner, with bands including Cold Blue Steel and Sharon Buck Dixen Roads playing from 7 to midnight.
Tickets are available at Davis Florist or Trendsetters. Prices are $7 for dinner only, $10 for dance only or $15 for both. They are also having big ticket items and smaller items that will be auctioned and 50/50 as well. The information is on the GRCC facebook page.
If you can't make this event, donations can also be made by sending your check, payable to "Save the GRCC," c/o Bangor Savings Bank, P.O. Box 400, Rumford, ME.
Donations can also be made through PayPal through their website at GreaterRumfordCommunityCenter.org. They also have 501(c)(3) status.
The GRCC is listed on the National Historic Register. The building, formerly called The Rumford Mechanics Institute, was built and dedicated in 1911.
Founded by Hugh J. Chisholm, the building was financed by the Oxford Paper Co., which gave the building and land to the Rumford Mechanics Institute Association in 1968.
In 1972, the Rumford Mechanics Institute was renamed the GRCC.