The Westbrook Community Center reopened Thursday morning, more than two weeks after a fire in a utility room forced the city to shut it down.

The closure became necessary because the huge complex on Bridge Street had no heat or electricity. The fire was contained to a utility room that houses the building’s electrical systems and computer servers, but the damage was severe.

Originally, city officials said the closure might last six to eight weeks, but now the only section of the building that might be closed that long is the swimming pool.

Since it closed Jan. 15, dozens of city residents who relied on the community center for a variety of daily activities and programs had to curtail those activities or find other options.

One of the community center’s major tenants, the Westbrook Food Pantry, had to set up shop in a local church while programs for autistic preschoolers and disabled adults, Meals on Wheels, a thrift store, instructional basketball, the Westbrook Historical Society, and all the center’s aquatic programs had to be relocated or canceled.

“The Westbrook Community Center will reopen to the public at 7:30 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 31,” the Community Center announced in a post on its Facebook page. But, the announcement said that not every program will be restored immediately.

The John P. Davan Indoor Pool, the gymnasium and The Hit Pit – all located in the Cornelia Warren Recreation Wing – will remain closed for several more weeks.

The food pantry, which had been temporarily housed at the Westbrook Warren Congregational Church, won’t reopen until Tuesday. The food pantry’s hours on Tuesday will be noon-2 p.m. and 6-7:30 p.m.

The community center said all of its fitness programs, including yoga, spinning and dance lessons, will resume on their regular days and normal times, effective immediately.

Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:

[email protected]

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