City Commits $2 Million to Future Jackson Square Rec Center

A long-sought Jackson Square Recreation Center got a funding boost recently when the city pledged $2 million to the project. But the project still needs millions more to start construction.

The proposed Jackson Square Recreation Center would include an ice rink and a turf field.

The project is estimated to cost $30.6 million in total to complete, according to a city press release, and has now reached its public fundraising goal. Proponents for the recreation center are now working to secure another $6.8 million from private funders.

Boston Mayor Martin Walsh joined nonprofit developer Urban Edge, elected officials, community advocates, and local youth in announcing the city funding on Nov. 1st.

“Recreational centers provide crucial spaces in our communities for young people and families to learn, grow, meet up with friends and have fun,” said Walsh via press release. “The city of Boston strives to provide opportunity in every neighborhood, and with so many young people living around Jackson Square, it was an easy choice to contribute these funds to this important and inspiring project.”

The BPDA board approved plans on March 17th that call for a 75,000 square foot recreation center at the intersection of Columbus Avenue and Ritchie Street across the street from the Jackson Square MBTA Station in Jamaica Plain.

The recreation center would be a three-story multi-use indoor space with an ice rink on the first floor 10 months of the year, with a mezzanine level (regarded as the second floor) that includes bleacher seating for the ice rink. The ice rink would be converted into a turf field during the summer months. The upper floor would be an indoor turf field year-round.

The proposed Jackson Square Recreation Center includes a mezzanine area with bleacher seating for the ice rink.

But the recreation center has had a very rocky path to come to fruition. Local youth have held rallies to demand funding for the recreation center that was promised 16 years ago. Most recently several Hyde Square Task Force youths discovered a state law that hadn’t been enforced calling for the Boston Garden to hold fundraisers every year to raise money for public recreation centers. After the youth’s research, TD Garden announced that they would pay out $1.65 million to go towards the Jackson Square Recreation Center, and the state government said they would kick in another $1 million

The project is estimated to cost $30.6 million in total to complete, according to a city press release, and has now reached its public fundraising goal. Proponents for the recreation center are now working to secure another $6.8 million from private funders.