Mayor Walsh and Freedom House Celebrate Groundbreaking of a New State of the Art Educational Facility in Grove Hall
July 20, 2016
BOSTON - Wednesday, July 20, 2016 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh today joined Katrina Shaw, CEO of Freedom House of Boston, along with local elected officials and residents, to break ground on the future home for the Freedom House in Grove Hall. The 8,440 square-foot facility will be housed in the former Grove Hall Library on Warren Street, and will provide high-quality youth development programs for teens, including college coaching, tutoring for academic success and financial aid advising. Freedom House is scheduled to occupy the building once renovations are completed in January 2017. The center is expected to service approximately 2,000 teens and community residents annually.
"This is an exciting day for Grove Hall, and I am so pleased to see a City-owned resource being used for such a great purpose," said Mayor Walsh. "Freedom House will be an invaluable resource for teens and residents in this neighborhood. I want to thank Freedom House and all of the partners involved for your commitment to our young people's success and to building a stronger Boston."
The $1.8 million revitalization will include a computer lab, state-of-the-art education area with meeting spaces, and outdoor classrooms. The majority of the renovation work will take place inside the building, with green improvements incorporated to help conserve energy and reduce operating costs. For example, all exterior windows will be replaced with new efficient weather-tight windows, and system upgrades, including a new HVAC system, will reduce operating and maintenance costs annually by 35 percent. Changes to the outside of the building will include new signage and a walkway with lighting added to the Warren Street side of the building which will revitalize that street corner.
"Despite the challenges that our young people face in this neighborhood, we are honored to have the support of so many partners joining us in this effort to assure they have promising futures," said Katrina Shaw, CEO of Freedom House of Boston. "This would not be possible without support from the City of Boston, State Street, Bank of America, the Amelia Peabody Charitable Fund, Liberty Mutual, Blue Hills Bank, Eastern Bank, East Boston Savings Bank, and Mass Development, along with many individuals who support our mission to get students into and through college."
Constructed in 1970, the structure housed the neighborhood's library until a new facility was opened on Geneva Avenue in 2009. The single-story structure, which includes high ceilings, ornate interior trim, and an expansive open area, sits on an approximately 24,788 square-foot parcel. The Freedom House of Boston was tentatively designated as the developer of the property through the Department of Neighborhood Development's Request for Proposals process in June of 2016.