Johnston opens new indoor recreation center

JOHNSTON, R.I. (WPRI) – The town of Johnston cut the ribbon on a brand-new recreation center Saturday.

It cost millions of dollars to build – but not a penny of that money came from town taxpayers.

“We used the money that we received as a settlement with Rhode Island Resource Recovery and also Broad Rock Energy,” Mayor Joseph Polisena said Saturday morning. “We had eight, nine, ten months of some really profuse odors. We took them to court, we settled out of court.”

The suit was filed in Superior Court back in 2011.

The 26,000 square-foot indoor recreation center has three basketball courts, a baseball batting cage, volleyball net and more.

Town officials were joined by the state’s congressional delegation for a 10 a.m. opening ceremony, which drew several hundred people.

Eyewitness News Anchor Mike Montecalvo was also on-hand and delivered remarks.

“For generations to come, children in Johnston and around the community will be able to continue that, making lifelong friends, learning how to win, and growing up to be decent people,” he said.

The facility took nine months to build and as of Saturday, is officially open to the public. Mayor Polisena said any community groups or sports teams interested in renting out the facility can check the town’s website for information.