RTH to build community center

Mission Park plans to build a 28,000-square-foot community center, which will replace an outdoor basketball court and parking lot. The Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) held a community meeting March 27 to discuss the proposed project.

“We have outgrown our space here and this space is needed,” said Jacqueline Boston, president of the Roxbury Tenants of Harvard (RTH), which manages Mission Park. “I have spent 12 years fighting for this project. Hopefully, we can get this done.”

Boston’s effort on the project will be rewarded, as the community center is to be named after her.

The community center, which will be built on Vining Street, is to have a full basketball court, a fitness center, a teaching kitchen, conference facilities and a youth center. Construction of the $9.1 million center is expected to begin in early fall of this year with completion in the fall of 2013.

Of the total cost of the project, $4 million is to come from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, which has a partnership with RTH to develop the former Massachusetts Mental Health Center site. Another $2 million will come from federal tax credits, while the remaining $3.1 million will be raised through a capital campaign by RTH.

About 50 people attended the meeting at the RTH Parks Community Center, which will remain open.  They spoke of the need for such a community center, but several questioned the lack of greenery in the area and asked what the project’s impact will be on that.

“The trees have just disappeared around here,” said Steve Goodman, who noted he is a 30-year resident of RTH.

Dave Traggorth, the project manager from Mitchell Properties, said that there a very few trees on the proposed site now, but that the project will have enhanced landscape with new trees and shrubbery. There will also be a green roof on the center.

Audience members also asked about the center’s programming, but were told that that would be finalized at a later date.

Public comments accepted until April 9. Contact John Fitzgerald at the BRA, 617-918-4267 or [email protected].


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