It was standing room only at the senior lunch room of the Curley Community Center on Monday night to discuss the $15 million renovation to the beloved neighborhood resource fondly known as the L. The Curley Community Center (BCYF) provides vital programming to seniors, teens, and kids, in addition to fitness classes, handball courts and beaches.
Pat Brophy from the mayor’s office ran the meeting and started off the conversation with squashing rumors that the community center would be replaced with condos. He then introduced two architects from Design Lab that would be managing the project. The exterior of the building will remain the same accept with much needed improvements i.e. new windows/doors. The majority of the renovations and improvements will take place inside. The design process will take about a year. The construction timeline will run12 to 18 months and the community center will be shut down during that time.
Full interior renovation – no additions made to the existing building. The landscape will receive improvements on both the beach and street side.
There will be a new HVAC systems, lightings, and plumbing.
Existing basement will be abandoned and sealed (due to flooding)
Modifications to building to address rising sea-levels.
The character and image of exterior will remain the same
The buildings interior will be reconfigured to improve the operation and programming. All fixtures and equipment will be updated.
Andrea Flaherty, administrative coordinator for the center, said that 90% off all programs have another home to go to during the construction. The teens and kids programs will be relocated to the Tynan Community Center. No other details about other programs were revealed yet and are still in the works.
Q& A Standouts
Of the people that got up and spoke, a majority were seniors. One South Boston senior that kicked off the Q&A section stated that he walked to the L everyday to socialize with other seniors and have the free senior lunch program. He was assured the senior lunch program would continue at a new location.
When asked about the L being inclusive to all, Congressman Stephen Lynch mentions that the the L is always open to everyone and states the only problem that he ever witnessed involved a “master blaster.” That innocent must have happened in 1987.
Sean B. – a neighborhood watch dog on the Curley Community Center – believes that the budgeted $15million will not be enough and it will take longer than the 12-18 months projected. Brophy assures the crowd that there will be transparency about both budget and timeline.
One gentleman is concerned that during construction during the summer – the M Street Beach goers will need facilities/bathrooms.
One senior is worried that after the renovations the membership dues will go up.
Another gentleman expressed his love of the gang shower and gang sauna. TMI.
Keefe Sheppeck wants to make sure that the handball courts aren’t going away. He brings up the fact they are part of the history/legacy of the L.
Tommy Flaherty asks if members of the L can be part of the design committee. He’d also like to see the solarium and handball courts remain and to bring back the boxing club.
Kathleen Bitetti suggests ding a time capsule as part f the redesign since the L is so rich in history.
You can see full details from the meeting on our twitter feed.
There will be multiple follow-up community meetings to gather additional feedback and present designs as they develop.
In conclusion, the amount of people that showed up to learn more about the Curley Community Center renovations is a testament to just how valuable it is to our neighborhood. The L has not been renovated since Mayor Ray Flynn was in office. The renovations are much needed and although it will be inconvenient during the construction, the results will be worth it.
You can take a survey about programs and improvements you’d like to see here.