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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

$60M Community center to be built in Dorchester

The+lot+upon+which+the+new+community+center+will+be+built+in+Dorchester.
Josh Kotler
The lot upon which the new community center will be built in Dorchester. Photo by Josh Kotler / Mass Media Staff

In local news, the city of Boston will be spending $60 million to construct a “full service” community center in Dorchester. The exact location of the upcoming center is Grove Hall. Some say that the new center should be named after Jean Mcguire, a 91-year-old civil rights activist who was recently stabbed in Franklin Park Zoo.

Mayor Michelle Wu addressed on Thursday that the new center was coming to Grove Hall in Dorchester and estimated the costs to be about $60 million. The location, which is currently a city-owned vacant lot, will be transformed into a flexible place for residents of all ages. The project is also estimated to take up to three years to complete in full. “In environmental justice communities like Grove Hall, it is especially important that our residents have safe, comfortable, resilient and inspiring public spaces,” Mayor  Wu said in her announcement. “I’m grateful to all our city departments and the community members that have advocated to make today’s announcement a reality.”

She was also joined by Mike Kozu, the co-director of Project Rebuild and Improve Grove Hall Together, or Project RIGHT, who has long been influencing the decision that led to the approval of the center’s construction. The City of Boston has also worked with other local organizations who have contributed to the project’s planning and developing of programs that the site will offer to the Dorchester community.

The Wu Administration also gathered inputs from the Dorchester community before finalizing the site’s location. In addition, 40 other potential site locations were taken into consideration before making Grove Hall the final destination of the center. Others who joined the mayor for the announcement were councilors Brian Worrell, Tania Fernandes Anderson, Ruthzee Louijeune, Michael Flaherty and other community leaders. Wu also mentioned that the center would boast features such as a space for youth, sports facilities, a dedicated space for seniors, classroom spaces and educational rooms.

“This announcement will provide a powerful pathway for young people and their families to access a variety of opportunities to overcome the racial disparities that previously limited the resources available in Grove Hall,” Kozu said. “The mayor and her team developed a neighborhood process that facilitated participation from a wide cross section of Dorchester that will lead to this full-sized community center facility with intergenerational activities.” He also added that the new center will provide unique and “powerful pathways” to both teens and seniors who indulge in the services of the center.

“It took a lot of people, a lot of effort, a lot of years to pull this together,” he said, speaking on the new center. “We’re going to work on the design, we’re going to work on the planning. We want to make sure young people, our seniors, everybody are part of this whole process and create a facility that meets the needs of our community,” he added.

Jose Masso, the Wu administration’s chief of human services, stated that “The BCYF Grove Hall Community Center will be a hive of activity for the community and an oasis for youth in the neighborhood, I’m really excited that the city will be investing in several standalone community centers in Dorchester and that the community has chosen Grove Hall as the first site of many.” After further community input on the new center’s design, construction of the center will begin.

 Sources:

1. https://www.dotnews.com/2022/new-community-center-coming-grove-hall

2. https://www.boston.com/news/local-news/2022/10/13/new-grove-hall-community-center-dorchester-michelle-wu/

3. https://www.boston.gov/news/mayor-wu-announces-new-community-center-be-built-dorchester

About the Contributors
Preetan Natesh, News Writer
Josh Kotler, Photographer