Randolph Town Manager Dave Murphy announced that the Town’s brand-new intergenerational community center will be dedicated to the memory of former Town Councilor Paul Fernandes who passed away earlier this year. Murphy cited Fernandes’ instrumental role in advocating for and supporting the new center for more than a decade.
The new 33,000 square foot public building will house a variety of programming and athletic space for Randolph residents. It includes a large gymnasium, an art room, a dance/exercise room, a teen lounge, a quiet lounge, community meeting rooms, a workout gym, a teaching kitchen, and much more.
The center is due to be dedicated to Fernandes during a grand opening celebration on Friday evening, November 3rd. A public open house will follow on Saturday, November 4th and Sunday, November 5th. A full schedule of programming will begin at the site on Monday, November 6th.
“As I think about Paul and this accomplishment a quote by President Obama comes to mind, ‘Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.’ Thank you Paul for being that person. With appreciation and gratitude, from the entire Fernandes family, thank you Randolph for this honor and dedication of the new Community Center in Paul’s memory,” said Paul’s wife Mary Fernandes.
“Paul’s support and work to bring this magnificent facility to life will be recognized by dedicating the center in his name,” said Town Manager Dave Murphy. “Generations of Randolph residents will learn of his contribution to our community through this memorial recognition. It is a well-deserved honor for such a quality public servant.”
The Randolph Town Council approved the $12 million appropriation for the new intergenerational center in 2015. Murphy cited Fernandes’ work and leadership as instrumental in bringing the project to fruition.
Fernandes was first elected as a Town Meeting member in 1994. That same year he was appointed to the influential Finance Committee in town. In 2004, he became the first black person to be elected to the Randolph Board of Selectmen. In 2009, Fernandes was elected to serve on the first Town Council, as Randolph changed its form of government. Throughout his career, Fernandes was seen as a source of wisdom and a champion of the underdog. This community center was the centerpiece of a career of accomplishments in local government.
Added Murphy, “I can’t imagine opening the new center that Paul fought for more than a decade without his physical presence that night. But he will be with us in both spirit and memory through the dedication. I want to thank the many people in the community who advocated for this recognition.”
The Fernandes family established a memorial fund in Paul’s name to support the community center. People can donate to the fund by clicking here.