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Residents protest for Center's opening

By Natasha Clark

Reminder Assistant Editor

SPRINGFIELD - On May 9 at 6:30 p.m. residents will gather in front of Greenleaf Community Center on Parker Street to protest for the opening of the center.

"We're going to start raising hell," said Clodo Concepcion, 16 Acres Civic Association President.

As Reminder Publications has previously reported, residents want use of the community center that has been shut down for nearly a year due to deterioration of the building.

On a warm morning last week, Concepcion stood in front of the closed center doors to talk about what he felt the neighborhood was missing.

"The seniors used to do exercise [classes] in there, kids used to play basketball, we used to have meetings, it's all gone. Why can't we get this finished?" Concepcion said.

In January 2005, as a result of letters from residents and local legislators including State Representative Gale Candaras (D-Wilbraham) and State Senator Brian Lees (R- East Longmeadow), the state gave $200,000 toward the revitalization of the center.

"Where is the money? How long are we going to be fighting?" Concepcion asked.