BOSTON – Friday, July 7, 2023 – Mayor Michelle Wu today joined Boston Centers for Youth & Families (BCYF), the Human Services Cabinet, the Public Facilities Department, elected officials, and South Boston residents to officially reopen the BCYF Curley Community Center which underwent a $31.2 million renovation. The newly renovated space includes state of the art fitness and activity spaces for community members of all ages, and was built with climate resiliency features to better protect the beachfront facility from flooding and coastal storms.
“The renovations to the Curley Community Center transform the space into the family-friendly, accessible facility our residents deserve and have been waiting for,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “The design complements the natural beauty of South Boston’s shoreline, while also providing modern indoor spaces to gather for health and community. I’m grateful to our City departments and partners at every level of government for their support in reopening this beloved community amenity.”
Originally opened in 1931 as a bathhouse and dedicated by Mayor James Michael Curley as a “monument to health,” the building was last renovated in 1989 and is a quarter mile long. Interior features of the renovation include open and accessible hallways throughout the entire building, fitness rooms (including weight training and cardio machines), yoga/dance studio, childrens’ space, womens’ and mens’ steam and sauna, senior space, teen space, multi-purpose spaces, and offices.
The renovation includes a new deck area behind the center with ramps to the beach for people with mobility needs. The renovations also included a focus on resiliency, including measures to combat the impacts of climate change and future “king tides,” such as an open basement so water and sand can flow in and out, interior waterproofing, and removable metal plates to help hold back water on the ocean side. The City of Boston’s Public Facilities Department managed the construction project working with designLAB architects and Boston Building and Bridge Corp general contractors.
“We are thrilled to be able to re-open the Curley Community Center and welcome residents into this beautiful new space,” said Chief of Operations Dion Irish. “We’re very proud to renovate this historical building to meet the needs of our communities today, including innovative flood resilience and accessibility measures to ensure everyone in our community can enjoy the facility.”
“The newly reopened Curley Community Center sets the bar for what our neighborhood facilities should look like and offer throughout our City,” said Chief of Human Services José Massó. “I’m thrilled to see this space reopen to welcome back familiar faces and support a new generation of our residents.”
“We are so proud to open this center and launch the next chapter of this community asset that has been an important resource to generations of Bostonians,” said Marta E. Rivera, Commissioner of Boston Centers for Youth & Families. “This investment ensures that BCYF Curley will meet the current and future needs of the community.”
The center is designed to serve all ages, including a large senior population. Beginning this summer, the Ethos Senior Cafe will serve free lunch to seniors daily. Seniors will also be able to participate in morning stretches, community social walks, card and board games, senior fitness, book clubs, and more. The center also has youth-only spaces and will be hosting weekly family friendly activities as well as ReadBoston Storymobile visits.
For the first two months of operation, there will be no charge for membership or programming but visitors need to create a membership at Boston.gov/BCYF-Registration. Registration for classes and programs can be found on the center’s webpage, Boston.gov/BCYF-Curley.
Due to nesting of the threatened Piping Plover birds, there will be no beach access from the center until wildlife officials determine that beach access does not pose a risk to the birds. In 1986, there were only 140 breeding pairs of piping plovers in Massachusetts. Through careful conservation efforts, the population has increased to over 1,000 breeding pairs in 2022. BCYF is working with the Boston Conservation Commission and the State to secure beach access for the near future. Members are welcome to use the nearby beaches surrounding the center for this summer.
Boston Centers for Youth & Families (BCYF) is the City of Boston’s largest youth and human service agency. BCYF operates 35 community centers in Boston that offer a variety of engaging and enriching programs for people of all ages created through community input and need. BCYF also oversees many citywide programs.