“You know the old saying: If you build it, they will come,” said 35-year Westchester Square resident Lou Rocco. “Well, we are building it.”
Rocco, who founded the Westchester Square Civic Association last month, has started renovations on a space at 2514 E. Tremont Avenue to house the association.
The association will cover E. Tremont to Zerega avenues, covered by Community Board 10, according to Rocco.
“We looked at this place 10 years ago, but we just didn’t have the funding,” Rocco said. “Then, the person who was in here before us moved out and the space was made available, but we didn’t have any support. But now the current owner of the space said that it would be the best thing for all of us if we utilized the space, so we joined forces and now we are getting this thing going.”
The space, which previously housed a chiropractor’s office, has been renovated by Rocco along with volunteers from the neighborhood.
Rocco said the renovations started a few weeks ago around the last week in February.
Rocco said he has hired a painter from the neighborhood to help him fix damaged walls and re-paint the entire place.
“We’ve also put in a request for new lighting out in the front because it gets very dark at night and there isn’t a light directly in front of the building,” he said. “We also have an issue with people dumping their garbage in front of this building that we need to take care of.”
Rocco said he is hoping for the civic association to be a positive change in the community.
“Once the place is cleaned up and everything is set in place, we want to have a meeting here with the local officials and members of Community Board 10,” Rocco said. “I would also like for the 45th Precinct to be able to use the space for any demonstrations or meetings they may have.”
The new space will be finished soon, according to Rocco, but it will remain closed until invitations for the first meeting are sent out. “We are not too sure about an opening date yet,” Rocco said. “I am hoping for some time around the end of March.”
“Sometimes it’s giant steps, sometimes it’s baby steps,” Rocco said. “This is a giant step for us.”