For Immediate Release
June 02, 2014
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BOSTON - Mayor Martin J. Walsh today joined Josh Kraft, the Nicholas President and CEO of the Boys and Girls Club of Boston, to break ground on the future home of the Boys and Girls Club Mattapan Teen Center. The 7,800-square-foot facility will replace the vacant former Mattapan Library on Hazleton Street and provide high quality youth development programs for teens focused on leadership, academic success, performing arts, and healthy lifestyles. The center is scheduled to open in fall 2014 and will serve approximately 250 teens annually, including 125 teens daily during evening programming.
“The Boys and Girls Club Mattapan Teen Center will be a vibrant addition and an invaluable resource for teens in this neighborhood,” said Mayor Walsh. “This is an exciting day for Mattapan and for the entire City. I want to thank the Boys & Girls Club of Boston and the Smith family for their vision and commitment to this neighborhood. Improving our neighborhoods requires a lot of hard work and compromise, and this is a great example of what can happen when everyone works together.”
“The Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston are grateful to the City of Boston for granting us the unique opportunity to bring an underutilized facility back to life,” said Josh Kraft, President and CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston. “By transforming the space into a center for the Mattapan community, BGCB will offer much-needed programming and resources to enrich and enhance the lives of local youth.”
The $2.5 million revitalization includes a computer lab, an education area with meeting spaces, a commercial kitchen, a 65-seat community theater that can also be used for fitness activities, and a music studio. The majority of the renovation work will take place inside the building, and green improvements will be incorporated to help conserve energy and reduce operating costs.
All of the exterior windows will be replaced with new efficient weather-tight windows, and system upgrades, including a new boiler, will increase efficiency. A programmable thermostat system will be installed to maximize savings on heating and cooling, and the interior lighting will be motion-sensor activated to save electricity when rooms are not being used. There will be no major changes to the outside of the building and existing exterior and interior details will be restored.
The revitalization of this building was made possible in part by a $2.5 million grant from the Richard and Susan Smith Foundation. Dana and Robert Smith are donating an additional $2.5 million to cover the first five years of operation.
Constructed in 1931 the building was the neighborhood library until a new facility was constructed and opened on Blue Hill Avenue in 2009. The single-story structure, which includes high ceilings and ornate interior trimming, sits on an approximately 13,700-square-foot parcel. The Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston were tentatively designated as the developer of the property through the Department of Neighborhood Development Request for Proposals process in August of 2013.
About Boys & Girls Club of Boston
Since its founding in 1893, Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston (BGCB) has been helping young people build strong character and realize their full potential as responsible citizens and leaders. BGCB does this by providing: a safe haven filled with hope and opportunity, ongoing relationships with caring adults, and life-enhancing programs in six core program areas. The organization serves more than 15,000 young people, ages 6-18, in 11 Clubs and through Camp Harbor View and YouthConnect.