A new community center is in the Westhampton community’s future.

On Tuesday, the Southampton Town Board unanimously approved the $4.1 million purchase of the property at 112 Old Riverhead Road in Westhampton Beach. The existing 22,000-square-foot building, a former car dealership and restaurant with three floors, elevators and a glass rotunda, will be converted into space for a senior nutrition program and the youth services program.

Since Councilmen John Bouvier joined the board, he has wanted to find a space for a Westhampton community center since the previous one shuttered in 2015. “This is a much needed resource for the community on the west end of town,” Bouvier said. “We’ve been looking for a while; a lot of people worked on this. It’s a great location – near the school, the village, and plenty of space, with room to grow. I’m really excited.”

Diana Weir, the town’s director of housing and community services, told the board at an August 25 meeting that a community center “was much need in that western part of the town.” A senior lunch program at the Westhampton Library, meant as a trial run, was very well received, she said. Otherwise, seniors had to travel to Hampton Bays, Flanders or Bridgehampton community centers to participate in the program, which doubled during the COVID-19 pandemic [more].