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NEW: Stone Soup Community Center Celebrates Rebuilding

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

 

Worcester's Stone Soup Community Center celebrates their recovery after a devastating fire three years ago. Their efforts include an environmentally friendly rebuild and carpentry experience for local youth. Tomorrow, the center will host an event to celebrate their rebirth as they continue to rebuild and environmentally retro fit their original location at 4 King Street.

The non-profit organization is an umbrella for many community-based groups in the city, including Earn-A-Bike, EPOCA (Ex-Prisoners and Prisoners Organizing for Community Advancement), the Worcester Immigrant Coalition, and the Worcester Roots Project.

“Tomorrow is to celebrate the partners that brought us back together – literally building community,” said David Minasian, who has helped with the organization. “At one point we had over 200 youth taking part in our programs. Now we’re in the business of putting the building back together.”

The electrical fire left the building unusable, but thanks to tremendous efforts to refurbish their home, Stone Soup will live again.

“We wanted to put our values in the building process,” Minasian said. YouthBuild BostonRebuilding Together Worcester, the New England Carpenters Training Fund, Carpenters Local 107, the Cooperative Fund of New England, and the Shriver & Westover Job Corps have all aided in the rebuilding.

The green rebuild includes fire repairs, comprehensive energy retrofit weatherization work, electrical and heating system updates, a sprinkler system and wheelchair accessibility improvements.

“Many of these organizations are doing either pre-apprenticeship training, helping disadvantaged youth, or they’re helping them learn the basic skills of construction,” he said. “Everyone came together, and it’s worked out really great. It’s going to be good for the environment and good for the community.”

“Stone Soup’s ground breaking is another great example of how our community can come together to develop comprehensive solutions to ensuring our youth have access to the training and experiences necessary to achieve success in 21st century workforce,” said Mayor Joe Petty. “I look forward to the opening of the Stone Soup Community Center and the continuation of their work in the Main South Neighborhood.”

Stone Soup is built both with the help of the community and the fable of their namesake.

“That’s the reason we came together. There were many organizations that had a lot of community but not a lot of resources,” Minasian said. “When you pool your resources, you get something great. That’s what the old fable tells. It’s kind of a basic ideal of society and shows that you can make something great with things from all over the community.”

To help their efforts, Stone Soup is hosting a capital campaign and will be receiving donations to keep its rebuild strong via their website.

Tomorrow’s event will include building tours offered by Site Supervisor, Tim Tudor as well as speakers who have been involved in making their home habitable again, including pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship training participants, Stone Soup members, representatives of training partners, and elected officials. Food and music will also be available.

 

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