The Newton Recreation Commission and Grand Central met this week to talk about working together, an important meeting for the future of the senior center located on East Sixth and just a few short blocks away from the NRC.
“We talked about a partnership and a collaboration,” said Tim Marlar, a member of the NRC who also serves on the Grand Central board.
That partnership will include use of the Grand Central facility for NRC programs if needed, and the NRC providing marketing, programming and business support for the senior center.
“It was clear to Grand Central that there is no sugar daddy with money coming along,” Marlar said. “It will provide business mentorship and other things. We will develop guidelines for things we can get some help with.”
There will be more meetings of the working group to create the partnership between the two organizations, with final approval of any agreement that comes up needing final approval at the board level.
Brian Bascue, superintendent of the Newton Recreation Commission, told member of the NRC that the rec would not give cash to the senior center. Whatever support is given would be an in-kind gift in the form of staff time and support.
That support would come in the form of help with accounting software, registration assistance, guidance on maintenance and programming assistance.
“We are looking to help them out with expertise,” Bascue said.
Some of that is very needed as Grand Central attempts to move forward.
“We have someone there is who is part time and does not have expertise in business,” Marlar said. “Everything else is run by volunteers.”
The senior center was recently denied an increase in funding from the City of Newton, as city officials questioned the business plan of the senior center during budget meetings. Rather than allocate an additional $10,000 in funds, the city asked for a new business plan by Jan. 1.
During that discussion, Kathy Valentine pointed to the possible partnership between the Newton Recreation Center and Grand Central as critical.
“Waiting to see how they work with the rec the next few months will be very telling,” Valentine said.