The future of Howes House


To the Editor:

With the presentation of the focus group findings at its Wednesday (Nov. 2) meeting, the West Tisbury Building Committee now knows what the future of Howes House might, could, and should look like. Will the building committee move that vision forward?   

Six focus groups were conducted in October with 60 participants including agencies that provide services for seniors at Howes House, headquarters of the Up Island Council on Aging (UICOA). 

The vast majority of those donating an hour and a half of their time to a focus group clearly described what the next generation of Howes House needs to be.  And the conclusion reached by every group is that much more of an inter-generational destination should be created in the building. 

(The focus group Insights final report can be reviewed on the West Tisbury Building Committee website.) 

The renovation of Howes House must accommodate the activities, events, and resources the community is requesting. The focus group process clearly defined the next generation of Howes House as an engaging, vibrant community center that attracts younger Older Adults and the family, friends, and caregivers who support them.

Will the chosen architect share that vision? Will the West Tisbury select board insist upon creating that vision? And, will the voters, when asked ultimately to OK the multi-million dollar renovation budget, get what they need Howes House to be — a town building meeting the needs of many more of us? 

Time will tell, won’t it. 

Susan Silk
West Tisbury