For the first time in nearly 40 years, the underwent renovations to its interior and Parks and Recreation Director James Snyder is pleased with the results (see photos).
“Basically, for $8,500 we almost have a brand new building, which is relatively short money,” Snyder said.
The public, according to Parks and Recreation Program Coordinator Kevin Snyder, is equally pleased with the new look of the Pfaff Center.
“The look is great,” Ryder said. “A number of people that have come in have said it’s almost like a new building. It’s the little improvements that you can do that makes it more presentable and a better spot for people to bring their kids and families to the classes they take.”
With no indication of a new town recreation facility being built any time soon, Snyder and his staff searched for cost-effective ways to renovate the Pfaff Center and came up with modest improvements to the building’s interior that would give the center a fresh look.
Renovations included a fresh coat of paint, several new doors, tiling at the entrance and replacing carpet with hardwood flooring. The cost of the tiling and new doors was under $1,000, according to Snyder and the hardwood floors, a specialty, cost $7,500 because of the amount of work that went into removing the carpeting. The painting was completed last year.
“We didn’t want to invest a ton of money into the building for a number of years because we thought we were getting a new recreation center,” Snyder said. … “When the economy went south, we were forced to take a look at how we run business here. We were basically looking at the building and saying at this point we know we’re not going to go to a new facility any time soon, what can we do with the building to improve it.”
Snyder said he and his staff started the renovations with a fresh coat of paint to the walls inside the building last year before addressing the flooring last month.
“Last year, we brought some of the Medfield blue colors in,” Snyder said. “A fresh coat of paint went a long way. The next step was going to be [flooring] ... there was a rug in here, and it was actually like a floating floor and then a rug. The rug had been ripped up so it was two applications of glue under there. It was an absolute nightmare to actually pull all this stuff up but they were able to do it and they did a really nice job.”
The renovations were completed over the holiday break in December, some of which were done by Snyder, Ryder and Brian Schools, parks and recreation equipment operator and landscaper.
“We spent our holiday vacation doing time in there,” Snyder said. “I couldn’t have done it without [Ryder and Schools] and we figured, one because of the timeline, we wouldn’t be able to get a contractor in to do this kind of work. We are only shut down one week a year, other than that it is constant activity. The other thing we were considering was trying to save the town some money as well by doing some of the labor ourselves.”
Snyder said he put in three doors without having to outsource labor, thus saving the town money and he, Ryder and Schools put in the tiling at the facility’s entrance.
“We are trying to do a lot of small things to bring this, I don’t know if it is considered a historical building, but it certainly has historical value and so we are trying to bring it back a little bit,” Snyder said. “We put the six panel pine doors in to match the rest of the facility.”
Snyder cited the help received by the Highway Department as a major factor in the renovations being completed over the winter break.
“Prior to getting the floor to where we could actually strip it, five of the Highway Department guys came down,” Snyder said. “Ken Feeney allowed those guys to come in but they came in and did a great job. Those guys [did] the prep work at no cost to the town [and] laid the foundation for us getting the work done.”
This is the first renovation since the 1970s, according to Snyder and while the improvements have been well received, there’s still more to be done.
“There was a large renovation done in the 70s, when they converted it into a youth center,” Snyder said. “We had the Council on Aging in here for awhile. We still have a little ways to go, there’s still three rooms that have carpet in it that we would like to address. It’s a matter of getting all of this out and doing the floors and I think we will probably shoot to do that next year.”
After the remaining carpet is stripped and replaced with hardwood, Snyder believes the interior renovations to the Pfaff Center will be complete and allow the recreation department to focus on other projects.
“That will really kind of complete the building,” Snyder said. … “I think we are going to start working from the Pfaff Center out in terms of renovating. Obviously we are going to be doing a lot in the parks system as well. We just built a new maintenance shed up at McCarthy Park to house all of our maintenance equipment.”
Snyder said Parks and Recreation will also look to address issues at the Hinkley Swim Pond on Green Street.
“In having Brian Schools on board, we have been taking a lot of steps to improve the conditions of the fields and parks,” Snyder said. “Hinkley Swim Pond is a park that we will have to take a look at soon. I know the playground is going on 15 years old now. It has about a 20-year life span so we will have to address the playground and the guardhouse there. … We are starting [at the recreation center] and are going to branch our way out.”
In the meantime, Snyder is excited about the improvements and hopes the community will continue to enjoy the facility.
“We love the reaction of the public when they walk in,” Snyder said. “Pretty much everyone that walks in is amazed by the tile job and the floors. It is a town building and we want people to come in and enjoy it and try to make it as presentable as possible.”
He also wants to invite those who may not have seen the Pfaff Center in awhile to come back and see the new look.
“We are encouraging people who may not have been here for a few years to come back and take a look,” Snyder said.
Medfield Parks and Recreation is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.