By Amelia Tarallo
Hometown Weekly Staff
For the better part of a century, the Pfaff Center in Medfield has been a key locale for the town. Originally serving as Medfield’s high school after its 1927 construction, it also served as an elementary and middle school before becoming the Pfaff Community Center, where it currently houses Medfield Park & Recreation.
But with that lengthy history also comes the downside of age; as beloved as the center is, it’s long overdue for some much-needed updates. Along with its slowly-but-surely decaying structure, there’s another reason the Pfaff could use an overhaul: the building is too small to handle the number of people passing through its doors on a daily basis.
Currently, the indoor basketball ball court used for multiple sports sits beside a radiator that is now covered in padded mats to keep kids from running into it and injuring themselves. It has become nearly impossible to hold productive music courses in the building due to the horrible sound quality.
“Our programs have severely outgrown this building,” explained Director of Parks & Recreation Kevin Ryder.
The town is currently considering two sites for a new Park & Recreation center. The first sits close to the current location on Dale Street. The other resides in a lot next to what Medfield residents known as “sledding hill.”
On Monday, January 6, residents got to weigh in on the possible options for a new Park & Recreation Center in a community meeting.
Both places seemed to have their pros and cons. The Dale Street location was recognized as being close to the center of town, being near two of the current elementary schools (making it a walkable location), and providing the ability to utilize already developed land. The negatives of the site include a lack of physical space, heavier traffic, dealing with older developments, and trying to develop in an already densely populated area.
The Hospital Hill option, meanwhile, provides the benefits of extra space, already-established recreation fields, less traffic, and even more open space nearby. Among the negatives mentioned were the fact that it isn’t near any central locations, the price of providing utilities, and environmental impacts, as well as taking away open space from the community.
As the town moves forward in deciding what to do with the Pfaff Center, they will also be considering the replacement for Dale Street School, as well as how to attract more diverse age groups to the Pfaff. While nothing is set in stone quite yet, this will be one of the most impactful decisions the town will make, going forward. Only time will tell what will happen.