Momentous occasion for a local institution
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As various storefronts throughout Inwood took in the different trade school programs, the original building was razed in 1971, and a new one was built a year later to house all of the programs under one roof. Along with the new building came a new name, the Five Towns Community Center Inc., and Sadie Scott became the center’s first executive director. “She was an exceptional leader and a strong woman,” Visconti said.
Though the new building was needed, Caronia said she still misses the old one. “It was like a big house and everything was closer,” she said of the trade school. “We used to have trailers in the parking lot and not enough parking. Though we didn’t have enough room, everyone got to know each other better.”
Despite losing $400,000 in county funding this year, Visconti and Pruitt said they remain hopeful about the center’s future. “It’s such a tough economic environment and it’s been a struggle to get grants,” Visconti said, “but we have staff who have been volunteering their time.”
“Because of the strong roots and the value of services to the community,” Pruitt added, “I would expect the center will be here for many generations to come, as the children and grandchildren of those who grew up here so many years ago continue to refer to it as ‘trade school.’”
The center will host its anniversary celebration on Nov. 3, from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m., at 270 Lawrence Ave. in Lawrence. Tickets can be purchased by calling (516) 239-6244, ext. 233 or 234