Community Featured

Reader Poll: What Site Do You Favor for a Larger Community Center in the North End?

Most everyone agrees that a larger community center is needed for the North End. Now the big question is, where to build it?

A community meeting was held last week to discuss potential locations. The City analyzed six sites: Mirabella Pool House, Sargent’s Wharf, Fulton Street, Cooper Street, DeFilippo Playground, and a larger building at the current Nazzaro Center on N. Bennet Street. Three of these options are moving on to further evaluation: Mirabella Pool House, Sargent’s Wharf, and expansion of the existing center. Many residents are also urging the city to reconsider the Fulton Street parking lot.

Nazzaro Center

A new, larger community center aims to reduce the long waiting list for programs at the current Nazzaro Center, which is only half the size of its demand. Wish list improvements include a larger gym, indoor swimming pool, storage space, improved weight room, and dedicated space for seniors and teens.

Where do you think the new community center should be located? Vote in our poll and add your comments in the section below. Then, take the Day in the Life of the North End survey to tell the city how the community center fits into your life. Officials have also opened a new feedback page where you can share your input by commenting on the three final locations.

Note: Web polls are unscientific and reflect only those who choose to participate. polls do not have any official significance and are only intended for the interest of our readers.

7 Replies to “Reader Poll: What Site Do You Favor for a Larger Community Center in the North End?

  1. Renovate existing space for passive activities- meetings, early childhood, senior activities, physical education for elementary schools, voting etc
    Build active complex elsewhere including regulation basketball court, strength training, aerobics and possibly a pool. Fulton St provides central access and less environmental problems such as flooding.

  2. I think it’s important to have the Nazzaro center in the “heart” of the neighborhood. It’s centrally located and easy for seniors and families to access. There’s also the historical importance of the building itself that should belong to the community.

  3. It is important for people to understand that the option most people preferred at the public briefing is not even offered in this survey: to have the community center programs split in two places, one for seniors and younger kids in tbe existing Nazzaro building (with some upgrades but no need to rebuild as larger new building, so keeping the central location and footprint of this building and the playground) while building a new larger regulation size basketball court/theater on Fulton St. This is a moment of truth for the North Ends culture and quality, versus tbe city’s interest in selling public spaces to raise money through private development. Is the city ready to support North End youth, or simply sell out its historic culture and open space to make money to pay for a community center building that the people on the waterfront dont want there, that will be hard for seniors and little kids to safely access, will be subject to street flooding concerns, and may still be too small if the youth poulation keeps growing? You could do this development in two phases so, the community would have continuing use of the existing Nazzaro center while the new court is bring built, and then we could update the old Nazzaro, which did undergo a million-dollar upgrade in 2004 including a new floor on tbe basketball court. Please urge our city leaders to take this route.

  4. Ellen I fully agree with you. Maybe the residents should have a meeting without developers and policians. Talk what is truly needed in our comunity and then present it to our policians. Its important they listen and understand the value of what that Nazzaro Center means to us. The important part is for the seniors who have lived here all their lives and have given back to this community for many years. The safety of our children. That playground is a mess it hasn’t been clean of bottles and leaves whatever since Clark left he did it out of the kindness of his heart. The City once again it’s their responsibilty for that property to keep it clean. If the North End residents stick together like they did with the Nursing Home something will be accomplished that will make everyone happy. I hope so.
    “Save the North End community Nazzaro center”


  5. The North End should not have to give up the existing Nazzaro Center or any portion of the adjacent Polcari Playground in order to benefit from a new community center. The existing Nazzaro Center and Polcari Playground should be maintained as a community center with interior renovations only AND ALSO a new, larger community center should be constructed at one of the other sites (including the Fulton Street site). As others have suggested, community activities can be divided between two sites. Community and senior activities could be conducted at Nazzaro, with sports and other activities occurring at a new, modern facility. The existing Nazzaro Center and related open space are important to the North End neighborhood both as public open space (there is very little public open space left) and as a historic early municipal site. The Nazzaro Center was originally one of a few bath houses in the City (and the only one in the North End). Any demolition or modification (exterior) of the Nazzaro Center or related open space would be a significant loss to the neighborhood and the City. As a location for the new facility, the Fulton Street site seems to have been dismissed without sufficient consideration. More detailed consideration should be given to that site before it is eliminated. Among other factors, it is not in a flood location, which would lessen construction costs and open up additional possibilities for construction and use.

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