Thursday evening, more than 150 residents from Jamaica Plain, Roxbury and Dorchester came to the Franklin Park Golf Clubhouse to listen to a presentation from the Boston 2024 executive bid committee. Event organizers from the Franklin Park Coalition expected an informative meeting for the community about what changes to the historic park could be expected, but instead attendees were met with few details and fewer answers.
The plan, at least as presented Thursday, is to renovate half of White Stadium to accommodate more spectators for parts of the Modern Pentathlon, as well as some equestrian events. Also included was the proposal to build a permanent pool for use long after the closing ceremonies, and use of the golf course area for one of the equestrian competitions.
At this stage in the planning process, Boston 2024 staff members at the meeting had a hard time answering detailed questions about how Franklin Park would be impacted, such as how long certain areas off the park would be closed off before and after the Olympics, and how new additions to the park would be maintained in the future.
“I thought it would be way more specific,” said Christine Poff, executive director of theFranklin Park Coalition.
After the meeting, Director of Olympic Operations John Fitzgerald said that the presentation wasn’t meant to be the final version, but more of a first draft.
“Right now the city is in listening mode. The mayor has the opportunity to influence the final plan by reflecting on input from the community,” he said.
Although many who came left the room frustrated with the evening’s events, the executive bid committee plans to use feedback from those local to the Franklin Park area for improvement. Fitzgerald left us with an open-ended question: “Here’s a concept, what are your thoughts?”