Rubonia Community Center to reopen with new programs next week

skennedy@bradenton.comFebruary 5, 2013 

MANATEE -- TheManatee County Commission OK'd $35,000 for the shuttered Rubonia Community Center, and it is slated to reopen with new programs next week, a county official said.

"Programming begins next week," said Cheri Coryea, the county director of neighborhood services.

Computers that have been donated will be in place by the end of the month, Coryea said. The center will have wi-fi so people can use electronic devices there, she said.

There will be an after school "drop-in" program, a twice per week health program, community gardening and book clubs in English and Spanish, she said.

The programs are slated to last 19 weeks, Coryea told community leaders who met at the center Monday.

The center has been shut down since Aug. 16 due to budget concerns.

Officials decided it would again be operated by a nonprofit organization, United Community Centers, Inc., in partnership with the county. The local community association once again expressed interest in running programs there, saying the neighborhood doesn't trust United Community Centers' management tobe "user-friendly.

Coryea assured members that a hands-on manager would be in charge and that the management of the center would be monitored by the county.

Last month, the county commission OK'd money to re-open the center, at 1309 72nd St. E., north of Palmetto, specifying that it could operate from Feb. 4 - June 14.

Sara Kennedy, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7031. Follow her on Twitter@sarawrites.com.

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