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Board approves new Martin Richard field house on Columbia Point with public access

Rendering of new clubhouse

Rendering by RODE Architects.

The Zoning Board of Appeal today approved plans by the Martin Richard Foundation and the Dorchester Boys & Girls Club for a three-story field house on Mt. Vernon Street in Dorchester that will include everything from basketball courts and running tracks to an auditorium and cafeteria.

The 75,000-square-foot Martin Richard Dorchester Field House , at 301 Mt. Vernon St., on land leased from Boston Public Schools. It would be open during school days to students from the neighboring McCormack and Devers schools, then open to members and the public in the evenings and weekends.

Bill Richard, president of the Martin Richard Foundation - named for his son, who died in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings - said the new facility will be provide recreational and athletic opportunities for a wide range of people - and will include quiet areas for children who might not do well with loud sounds from basketball courts, tracks that could be used for walking by senior citizens and an auditorium for theater and other performances. A cafe will provide sustenance for people spending a day there.

Other facilities will include indoor fields, training rooms, classrooms, a teaching kitchen, offices and conference rooms.

"This is a pretty exciting project, board Chairman Mark Erlich said. The board voted unanimously in favor, although board member Eric Robinson abstained, because his architectural firm, RODE Architects, designed the building.

The BPDA board approved the proposal in March.

Dorchester field house filings.



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It still makes me angry that the Walsh admin arranged to use Boston Schools land for 99 years for the fieldhouse when the city agreed to expand the middle school from a middle school to a 7-12 school and the plan for it had not been drawn up yet.

It sounds like Walsh had made a commitment to Bill Richard and saw no other way forward. I favor the Martin Richard Foundation's project, I just don't think it's right to take the school's land to do it.

Voting closed 3

This sounds like an amazing facility and the 50m estimated price tag seems reasonable given size/scale.

Meanwhile, the City has allocated 25-30m for a seasonal use, outdoor pool in Charlestown (Clougherty). What the actual F?

Voting closed 2

Columbia Point, that's an old school Boston name. That particular area is now known as Harbor Point @adamg. I think the only thing that still remains as identified in Columbia Point is UMass Boston, at least according to Google Maps.

The whole area will always be Columbia Point in my heart though.

Voting closed 11