As is always tradition in a small community, especially in a neighborhood with people that have close knit ties like South Boston, news travels fast and often rumors spiral out of control. It’s 2018, and social media is how we get our news in many cases. South Boston has several excellent and informative social media sites and readers have been inquiring about the future construction, face lift and upgrades at Curley Recreation Center, also known to locals as the ‘The L’.
We here at South Boston Today have also been bombarded with inquiries on the topic. There have been many stories being circulated around town about the proposed renovations that will take place at some point in the near future. So, we decided to do some checking and have been speaking with people at Boston City Hall with the goal of finding out the facts and hopefully dispel some rumors that may be inaccurate. We spoke with Sandy Holden, who is the Public Information Manager and PR person for the Boston Center for Youth and Families. She was nice enough to answer all our questions and provide some details, as the plan currently stands.
First, how much will this cost? There is 15 million dollars in FY19 City Budget allotted for the upgrades. It is city money and not coming from the Federal Governments in Washington. Right now, no designer has been picked to do the work, and no design at all has been created. Sandy Holden assured us that the entire process for design, timeline and in fact everything involved with the project will be completely transparent and that public neighborhood input will be sought through meetings that will be open to all.
One of the main questions was how long the work will take, and will the building have to be shut down completely when construction begins and for the whole duration. The preference by the city will be to do it in sections because of the many existing and wonderful programs that ‘The L’ and its great staff offers in operation. They may have to be moved to a different part of the building, while work is being done. But perhaps the biggest concern by some, as the rumors fly, is that what will actually take place is for the structure to be eliminated as a neighborhood center and turned into condominiums. I asked Sandy Holden if the city could positively confirm that that would not happen and, without hesitation she said absolutely not. It will remain a community center. Whew!! Thank you for that, Sandy.
The fact is, the building is old. It is in need of electrical work, plumbing and so many other improvements that the time is now to begin the planning and the upgrades that will benefit the South Boston Community. And the fact that the 15 million dollars in city money has been approved dictates that those upgrades should come sooner not later.
So here you have it. This is what the City of Boston has told SBT the situation currently is. They also told us they will keep the neighborhood informed with constant updates, as the process draws near and they have promised to include residents in the process, because they say that input from this community is a must.
We hope this information helps our readers and we will update you as we are updated every step of the way. But remember, as taxpayers you have the right to check into this yourselves as well, if you have questions and concerns with your calls and emails. If the city’s 311 operators don’t have all the answers, they can connect you with a department that will.