3.5 min readBy Published On: June 17th, 2015Categories: News53 Comments

Not everyone likes the idea of another school going into the former Gate of Heaven School. 

Here is a letter in support of the developer.

We’re all Southie residents—some for a few years and some for many decades—who are also close abutters of the Gate of Heaven School.  We’re writing to express a viewpoint that many people in Southie share, but which certainly doesn’t get the coverage and attention it deserves. We have three main points.

Most direct abutters support the condominium project proposed for the property by the developer. We’ve talked to many of our fellow close abutters and have seen a map with the properties of those supporting the project marked. We are the people most affected by any development and the opinions of the direct abutters should be given significant consideration. Most neighbors we talk to feel the developer has listened to the concerns expressed, appropriately scaled back the project and provided a reasonable amount of parking (which exceeds BRA guidelines). We love our neighborhood, but are tired of having an empty building that’s become a fire hazard and a magnet for trouble and mischief in our midst.

A charter school is not supported by the demographics of the neighborhood and we don’t believe it’s economically feasible.  Only about 60 Southie residents currently attend South Boston High School. Where will all the students required for the charter school come from?  The vast majority will not be from Southie. The impact of transporting all these students to and from the school will fall most heavily upon the direct abutters. (Another reason for the point made above.) The building is old, out-moded and would require a multi-million dollar renovation. For example, there is a very small cafeteria, no gymnasium and no laboratory space. Where would the money for the renovation come from?  How would the Parish get paid? The truth is the proponents of the school have no answers to these important questions. There has been no feasibility study conducted or analysis done that demonstrates the necessity or viability of a charter school. To us it seems more like a pie-in-the-sky pipe dream and certainly not the “cure all” for everything that supposedly ails Southie as it is sometimes portrayed. 

Our highest priority is the long term health and survival of Gate of Heaven Church and Parish and South Boston Catholic Academy.  We’re members of the Parish, so admittedly we’re biased. But we recognize that spiritually and socially, the Parish is the heart and soul of our neighborhood. We see firsthand the weddings, funerals, first communions, confirmations, Masses, etc.—and all the happiness, sadness, joy and fulfillment that transpires inside and outside the church. Developing the school into condominiums maximizes the sale proceeds for the Parish and will help ensure the long term viability of the Parish as a spiritual community and physical property. And why would the leadership of SBCA want a new competitor so close by? Last time we checked this was a free country—can the Parish be forced to sell the property to a buyer it doesn’t want? Would it be fair for the parishioners, whose predecessors’ blood sweat and treasure built the school for Parish children, if it was sold at a much lower price to a buyer the Parish doesn’t want? Maybe in China or Cuba.  But sorry, not in this great country. 

We don’t have clever slogans or bumper stickers but we do have the support of most of our immediate neighbors. And most of our fellow Gatey parishioners as well.  Lots of people in Southie have good reasons to support the proposed development.  If you want to make our neighborhood better, work to support and improve the schools that are already here. And don’t believe everything you read. There is NOT unanimous opposition to the project and there is another legitimate perspective to consider. 

Donna Casper      Joe Casper      Frank Doyle     Peggy Doyle      Trisha Foley
Mary Irwin    Mariellen Malcolm      Jack O’Loughlin      Ralph Pascarelli

 

 

53 Comments

  1. Anonymous June 17, 2015 at 9:27 pm

    Funny, I don't remember the last time I have seen any of these hypocrites at Mass.

  2. Anonymous June 17, 2015 at 10:08 pm
    Dodo nee’s family or people he has helped out write a letter in support so he can fatten his wallet. Priceless.

    School or no school I don’t care but to lose all that parking for church events is a huge problem.

  3. MakeSouthieBetter June 17, 2015 at 10:50 pm

    "Neighborhood Kids before Charter Schools"  is a much better slogan.  Work with the condo developer to make every unit in the building 2000 sq ft with 3 bed rooms so it's large enough for families of four.

    Starting price 800K – $1 million for each unit.  Instant upgrade to the neighborhood.

  4. Johnny B. Good June 17, 2015 at 10:54 pm

    Finally some common sense! What's more  important…saving the parish and SBCA or creating a school for kids from everywhere but here? Well duh! Sorry Kevin, your bitterness and personal vendetta are NOT a good reason. Take a hike with your foolish idea…maybe you can buy a place on Memory Lane.

  5. George June 17, 2015 at 11:00 pm

    Any parishioner with half a brain who cares about their parish knows what the right answer is. Let's see…no plan, no money, no kids, no leadership..ya right a new school…that's the ticket! Lallys Folly!

  6. Mahhty June 17, 2015 at 11:04 pm

    Brilliant move by the condo opponents calling me a liar. Great strategy. 

    Approved!!!

  7. Anonymous June 17, 2015 at 11:21 pm

    The Archdiocese of Boston is responsible for all this. You know, the organization that protected and promoted the sexual abuse of children. Yet the Archdiocese is getting the pass while neighbors duke it out amongst each other. Isn't loving one neighbor a basic Christian tenet? Yet the Archdiocese has been nothing but be a divisive force for centuries and people still support them. Why???

  8. Anonymous June 17, 2015 at 11:41 pm

    You mention that only 60 Southie residents go to southie high which is sad. However, if Gatey does turn into Condos, how many people who were born and raised in South Boston, would live in these new condos? The answer is ZERO because the prices  are ridiculous! It is tragic enough that old churches and schools such as St. Peter's on I street got turned into condos. I was one of last classes to graduate from Gatey, we walked to the Pal for gym class which is less than five minutes away. And some charter schools do not even have a cafeteria and Gatey actually has a pretty decent size. 

  9. SouthoftheBostonfireworks June 18, 2015 at 12:10 am

    comparing your neighbors desire to keep Gatey school from becoming condos to the oppression of communist China & Cuba seems like a wee bit of an over statement.

  10. Anonymous June 18, 2015 at 3:28 am

    Anonymously making accusations on the Internet…. Hilarious.

  11. No Shame June 18, 2015 at 3:58 am

    Do you believe these money grubbing sell outs .  A lot of the direct abutters are being paid off with parking spots by the developer . That is not mentioned by these Menino sellout whores!! To write a letter a letter like this  portraying yourself as you're looking out for the best interest of the parish is a absurdities!!! Most of the signees are either related or have a direct interest in benefiting personally by the new condo development. This lot of sellout  have no shame!!!

     

  12. Too funny June 18, 2015 at 4:00 am

    You need to be a complete moron to believe anything that these Menino sell outs are selling!

  13. Anonymous June 18, 2015 at 12:52 pm

    I think more people (at least those that are in the know) have jumped on the opposition bandwagon since finding out who the developer's silent partners are and the end game they are trying to pull. The parishioners fell for this twice, with the rectory and the hall. And everyone knows who made money on those sales. They don't want it happening to the school. The church is next, and if you fools can't see the writing on the wall you have your heads up your asses.

  14. Anonymous June 18, 2015 at 2:38 pm
    Funny. I see the Casper ‘s every Sunday at mass with Ray Flynn. Why don’t you ask him next time next time you’re at one of your misinformation meetings.
  15. Anonymous June 18, 2015 at 5:58 pm
    Funny. I see the Casper ‘s every Sunday at the 8:00 AM mass. They sit right next across from Ray Flynn. Why don’t you ask Ray next time next time you’re at one of your misinformation meetings.
  16. Anonymous June 18, 2015 at 7:07 pm
    Last I heard the only money staying in Southie was 50k to the sbca. So the remaining 4.495M is going to line the coffers of the archdiocese. So any parishioner with a brain (your words) should realize this is a bad deal for the neighborhood. I agree the school is not viable but the real argument should be about getting more of that money to stay in the parish.
  17. george June 18, 2015 at 7:21 pm

    Since the abbutters don't want outside elements coming in how about we make the school the Library and then turn the current Library into a 4-story Municipal parking garage or are the current abutters opposed to that. Oh thats right their relatives and freinds who are the silent partners won't get that much money now.
     

  18. Harold June 18, 2015 at 8:37 pm

    so you put a gun to heads of the parish and tell 'em "we want the buildin' for a school…or else!"

    stop talking ragtime…makes no sense…they will never sell to another school nor should they be forced to…free country…I have no dog in the fight in terms of parking, developers or whatever but recognize the whole school idea is a joke…i agree the archdiocese should have handled this much better…elderly housing, assisted living etc but they didn't and this is the wreckage that's left… condo's better than an empty fire trap and junkie haven

  19. Anonymous June 18, 2015 at 8:42 pm

    "But Mahhhty, southie voted for you brother…we really didnt mean to call you a liar…we said "disingenuous"

    Yeah well I'm here for life now and don't need your vote no more so $uck on it

     

  20. Patricia Wright June 18, 2015 at 10:05 pm

    I am a Gate of Heaven resident and all of my children had attended that school.  In order for all residents to provide or deny support to either the proposed school or condo conversion plan, it would be essential that we know all the facts.

    Who are the Developer's Silent Partners?

    Accusations have been made against the supporters of this letter?  Have you been promised free off-street parking?  The signers have chosen to make a stance by signing their name to this letter.  Please be aware that if you do not respond to the accusations, people will assume that the accusations are true.

     

  21. Abuttah June 18, 2015 at 11:37 pm

    Not a parishioner, think the Catholic Church is a joke, no parking spot or cash from the developer, wouldn't know dodo if I tripped over him….so I support the proposal b/c?….. I want a fire hazard and drinking hangout occupied by something!   But seriously, who wants want more noise, traffic, school bus parking zones (restricted parking all day) and teenagers floating floating around in their grill? You do? I call BS on that. That versus more well to do nice neighbors spending money in our hood? Easy choice.Is that selfish? Perhaps… but the school supporters have had 5 years to get their act together and raise money, get some real leadership, find a great partner,develop  a real plan…would I support it then? Maybe yah, but too bad that's not on the table. Instead we get a clueless campaign of woulda, coulda, shoulda about might have been. Too late! Marty even gave them extra time to come up either something…the result? Nada…Sadly the affordable units are not set aside for Southie residents…that's wrong. I also agree more three bedrooms would've been nice. Calling Mahhty a liar? Maybe the dumbest PR move since the Olympic Commitee announced Deval was a "consultant" for 8 grand a day.  Mahhty is going to show SB he has the sack to make a tough decision that's, unfortunately, the best alternative of what's really available. 

  22. DoughDough June 18, 2015 at 11:56 pm

    More Irish died of jealousy than cancer. Big f'ng deal….I got paid for services rendered…was that big secret??…kiss my fat  white SB a$$. 

    – dough dough 

  23. Joe June 19, 2015 at 12:14 am

    The bully's don't  like it but the letter hits it on the head…the truth hurts! 

    Lets make a freakin' decision Mahhty and let's move on. Enough already!, We already know the decision…"dear leader" Lally poisoned the well and put the kiobosh on any compromise. Rip off the bandaid,let the whiners wail. The rest of us are sick of the whole thing. And the people who really think the archdiocese would ever sell this place to a school? Seriously? You really think they care about kids? Umm, have you read the papers over the last 15 years? 

  24. Anonymous June 19, 2015 at 12:54 am

    I'm a direct abutter and condo supporter who loves the library idea!  Talk to Marty…maybe too little too late. But a school? C'mon…delusional given the underlying facts and lack of a credible plan. Not everyone who supports the condos is on the take. We just live here and don't want to deal with an empty bldg or 400 kids coming ang going every day…would you? 

  25. Jenn Menjin June 19, 2015 at 1:27 am
    Those who support condos should be ashamed of themselves.
  26. Anonymous June 19, 2015 at 2:37 am

    I live right across the street from Gatey, I went to gatey growing up. Once word of it closing started my parents sent me to the charter school that wants in. The school wants it as part of the high school and when I went there the high school did not get school busses we got charlie cards. Also its not any childs/parents fault their kids don't go to Southie High, its really hard to get into, because of bussing. Families enrolled in BPS have no real choice for where they attend high school. Also the ones who signed this the Casper family, why didn't you send your kids to Southie High? 

  27. Anonymous June 19, 2015 at 2:45 am

    Why does Marty allow the Menino stooges to continue to make policy and money off the people of Southie?

    the BRA and Zoning Board should put a hold on this project until all the bullshit can be sorted out.

  28. Anonymous June 19, 2015 at 6:58 am
    A few people also saw and hundreds have now heard that Joe Casper offered out Kevin Lally to fight at a youth center a few days ago. Nice look for a bfd captain.
  29. Anonymous June 19, 2015 at 12:32 pm
    Is he menino 2.0 or will he actually listen to the residents. There is no benefit for him to support this. Opposition outnumbers support 10 to 1. I know he probably doesn’t think a school will go there and wants the building to be filled but that’s not his problem let the archdiocese worry about that.
  30. Good neighbors June 19, 2015 at 1:00 pm

    This building has already been sold to the developer and the silent partners. The church no longer owns this building. The question right now is the zoning. If the zoning board approves the change of zoning to residential it is all over. But..

    All of these people who signed this article are good people. They are South Boston residents who care about the area. But really…I don't think they realize what happens after the Condo's are done. It's honestly a disaster. The owners start renting the Condo's out to young people who could care less what is happening in South Boston. Believe me I experience this in my own neighborhood. They move in and out within one to two years. I'm not saying everyone but the majority. Most are not looking to settle here. They are looking for the party's and the beach. And what happens when they realize the church bells go off every hour. I love hearing those bells as I'm sure you do too. I think someone who is not used to the bells and fire engines and the airplanes are not going to be happy after paying 600,000+ for less than 1000 square feet. It is a sad day when a developer starts to put us against each other. I'm not saying it has to be a school but anything but more Condo's.

     

  31. George June 19, 2015 at 6:56 pm

    Agree…You should speak with Fr. Casey and find out find  what the plan us. Very legitimate question.

  32. Anonymous June 19, 2015 at 7:55 pm

    I'm a direct abutter and I signed the letter. I can only speak for myself but can tell you I received no promises of cash or parking. I've had several conversations with the developer about his plans and my concerns about some issues. The only promise he has made to me is to return my phone call if I call him about a problem during the construction process. That's it. Do I believe him? Yes. Or I probably wouldn't have sighed the letter. Listen, I wasn't born yesterday and recognize developers don't always keep their promises. But I've checked them out and gotten good feedback from sources I trust. And yes, I go to the 9 most weeks so let's discuss on the front steps afterwards.

  33. Anonymous June 19, 2015 at 10:49 pm

    Couldn't agree with you more. You want to live here? Sell your expensive SB property and buy new construction with an elevator and fewer headaches. Many SB folks can afford it. No, I'm not a broker, just an abutting resident who's realistic.   

  34. Make more do do for me Nee June 20, 2015 at 4:51 am

    When are you peons going to realize that I run the town of been running it for 20 years and I have all these politicians in my pocket.  I need more dough from my cocaine habit !!!in  And take care of all my funky relatives!!  If you had these burdens you'd be selling out the town too!!  Luxury condos before kids is  The battle cry of a sellout !!! Get used to it !!!

  35. Anonymous June 20, 2015 at 5:02 am

    if Mayor Walsh has his wagon hitched to team dodo and he crew of Menino sellout then nothing has changed in Southie!  This will be a watershed decision by the Walsh administration !!!! Everything will be on the line !!!! The Olympics. Creating an opposition in his homebase !!!  An angry mob that will never forgive him for selling himself as something new!!! This will be a great one to watch!! They did say politics is a contact sport !!!  Buckle up !!

  36. Anonymous June 20, 2015 at 12:13 pm

    But the school will be sold at below market value so that the few racketeering parishioners can make even more money when the building is resold (remember the sale of the parish hall?). The money of the sale of the property goes to the Archdiocese not the parish and the parishioners who paid for the construction and yearly upkeep of the church.

    The Archdiocese has been uncomfortably silent during this whole process. They do not want to be put in the position to have to lie about this to the people who financially support the church.

    When this is all said and done, somebody has a one way ticket to Hell.

  37. Hank Alverez June 21, 2015 at 4:21 am

    Trying to limiting the ability of a private property owner is essentially limiting one's freedoms. All you "conservatives" can't have it both ways. Maybe they should put a school where the cornerstone used to be. Amazingly none of these critics had anything to say about those condos being built. 

     

     

  38. Haha June 21, 2015 at 4:26 am

    Ask Ray Flynn, who left for bigger and better things now emerges like he's our protector after 20 years of depression from failing every political campaign he's engaged in since jumping ship on this city and this town? Ya ask him for his opinion. That's a great idea. He's been out for himself since day one and is now using any opportunity to score points for his undeserved statue. I'm from Southie and known Ray my whole life. He is a politician's politician, completely and utterly full of shit. But ya ask him he'll shoot you straight. You always know where you stand with "the package."

  39. Anonymous June 21, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    are stupid if you are going to let Menino's layover cronies and company continue to set policy in Southie. 

  40. Anonymous June 22, 2015 at 4:42 pm

    probably more like 60 for, 40 against amongst abutters

    would YOU want 3-400 kids coming and going every day with all the traffic, noise, disruption, teenage monkey business? Honestly?

  41. Anonymous June 22, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    maybe Kevin said something obnoxious and stupid. difficult to imagine huh?

  42. Anonymous June 22, 2015 at 5:18 pm

    the least bit ashamed. everyone has to make up their own mind based on their values and vew of the world. it's america. we're allowed to have different opinions (it used to be encouraged).

  43. Anonymous June 22, 2015 at 6:23 pm

    Huh? Dunno about any "policy" but i do know many direct abutters who are sick of having a fire hazard/drinking and drugs hangout in our face. The folks who couldn't come up with plan or partner for a school, what's their "policy" for that? Wait another 5 years until they get their act together? Cops were there at the school Sunday morning for some problem. What if a fireman dies fighting a fire there? Don't work for BFD but my uncle died in the line. Don't laugh. It could easily happen.

  44. Anonymous June 22, 2015 at 6:43 pm

    Oh my goodness. Reading most of these posts is an embarrassment to our Southie community. It's one of the reasons I don't go to the so-called "community" meetings anymore because they all disintigrate into a few people yelling and bullying everyone else. I email my representatives with a civil opinion. I am an abutter and have never been offered anything like parking if I agreed to the condo plan; if anyone else did, please let me know so I can get in on the deal! I agree that if larger units were built – those large enough to hold families, rather than small units suitable for only for a couple, that may lower turnover. I am not originally from Southie, but moved here 8 years ago from the South End; I'm very happy here and plan to stay. However, I would not like more school buses and traffic in addition to what the Tynan contributes; parking would be more restricted not only due to buses, but to teachers parking in the lot during the day. Most schools do not allow parking in the school lots overnight. Also, Gatey would have to be severly overhauled in order to accommodate the American with Disabilities Act for those students with disabilities. High school students will not add considerably to the quality of the neighborhood although I don't assume they would hurt it (didn't a lot of people send their kids to Gatey because they DIDN'T want them to go to Southie High?). Residents who can support local businesses and take pride in ownership will better help our neighborhood thrive. I support living space at Gatey, whether condos, assisted living or something else, over a school.

  45. SouthoftheBostonfireworks June 22, 2015 at 8:12 pm

    thanks Obama

  46. A concerned neighbor June 22, 2015 at 11:53 pm

    I feel as a person who lives across the street from Gate of Heaven, I would rather it be a school. I went to Gate of Heaven until the rumors of it closing started. Then I went to the charter school, that wants to buy the property. I understand the whole southie high point of view but thats because its very hard to get into, because of busing. I didn't see the Caspers sending there kids to Southie high, they all go to Archies or BLS. 

    Busses wouldn't be an issue because if the charter school gets thehigh school, the high school kids don't get school busses they take the T. If condos come we don't get  parking at any time of the day.

    Lastly, the charter school was told that they could use the gym at the pal, but right now the school doesn't have a gym, or a cafe and are doing fine so those points are correct.

  47. Anonymous June 23, 2015 at 1:42 am

    60-40 haha

  48. Anonymous June 23, 2015 at 1:55 am

    Why didn't you go to Southie High? Your parents took you out of Gatey pretty quickly as you mentioned above. When you point a finger, there are three pointing back at you…

  49. Anonymous June 23, 2015 at 2:14 am

    Best comment of the bunch. Spot on. Thank you! 

  50. old gray mare June 23, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    With all this back and forth and sniping there is still no concrete plan from the school supporters that outlines  who will be the Charter school principals, financials, lease, etc?  And what would happen in 2 or 3 years if the charter school is no longer viable and shuts down?  We are back to square one with an empty building – a magnet for the low life, drinking and drug clowns that are already hanging there on weekend nights.  I want to live in a neighborhood where neighbors take pride in their property, spend money in the shops and restaurants on Broadway, and watch out for each other.  I don't want to be looking out my window at an empty building and parking lot, checking to see if I have to call the cops to move some junkies out.

  51. Eddie Downs June 23, 2015 at 6:17 pm

    I'm surprised that people who respond to articles dont have to sign their true name. I thought that this web page was above that.

     

  52. Anonymous June 23, 2015 at 6:42 pm

    As predicted here at CiS, Mahhty's minions on the ZBA swiftly dispatched the development's opponents with a swift kick in the pants. It happenned so fast they didn't seem to know what hit 'em. People were expecting 5 proponents to get up and speak but the ZBA bypassed that part, and voted swiftly and unanimously in favor of the development. Mahhty's in chahge. Don't mess with him and especially DON'T call him a liar publicly. Get it? Good. Slainte!

  53. Maureen Dahill June 23, 2015 at 9:36 pm

    Unfortunatley, this software does not post peoples names if they chose not to use them.  I can either have a comment section or or not have a comment section.  I’m looking into a different message board system.  I agree.  People can be very negative especially when it’s anonymous.  Thanks for your feedback. 

     

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