Boston Nonprofits Partner to Create World-Class Recreation & Education Campus

Photo by Tim Carey

Boston – Boston Scores, a nonprofit organization providing urban youth in grades K-12 with after-school soccer and enrichment programs, and the Salesian Boys & Girls Club of East Boston are partnering to bring additional programming and opportunities to Boston students, with significant improvements of the facility and campus at the existing Salesian Boys & Girls Club location.

The two nonprofits held a groundbreaking on Dec. 19 to officially announce the Salesian Heights Recreation & Education Campus and to celebrate their new partnership that will create more educational and recreational opportunities for the children and families in East Boston. Representative Adrian Madaro, Councilor Gabriela Coletta, Senator Lydia Edwards and Region 1 School Superintendent Dr. Tommy Welch were among the attendees and spoke at the event.

The newly renovated facility will provide world-class athletic and community facilities for local youth programs and establish sustainable programming for the youth of East Boston and surrounding communities. Highlights of the facility renovation include a multi-field soccer facility, playground, community gardens, outdoor classrooms, state of the art homework help and coach training spaces. In addition to the programming the Salesian Boys & Girls Club already offers, Boston Scores brings extensive soccer programming and team-based enrichment programs, including poetry and civic engagement. The facility will offer flexible program options to serve the needs of local families, including year-round and weekend programming.

With this partnership, the organizations will also be able to offer enhanced programs for students at neighboring schools, including Brooke Public Charter School, Excel Academy Public Charter School, and nearby Boston Public Schools. All programs will be free or low-cost. Boston Public Schools is the largest program partner of Boston Scores and the facility renovation will help support and expand that relationship in East Boston and across the city.

Renovations to the Salesian Boys & Girls Club building are slated to be formally unveiled in fall 2023.

Key elements of the renovation include:

World-class athletic and family recreation campus: With soccer being a core pillar of Boston Scores’ program, the renovation will include complete transformation of the club’s athletic field for increased playing time, lower maintenance, and a safer surface to protect against injuries. The design takes a thoughtful environment approach utilizing BrockFILL organic infill materials made of wood and that don’t naturally retain heat. The system also utilizes shock pads to provide head injury protection, while remaining firm for running. The turf will be PFAS-free, save water, and not require fertilizer or other toxic chemical for its maintenance. The renovation design also incorporates a number of new tree plantings, a community garden, an outdoor classroom, and will use electric vehicles for its maintenance. Along with the turf installment, the field will also get enhanced lighting, so practices and games can be played during the evening hours.

Enhanced classroom spaces: Modernized classroom and community spaces will capitalize on the natural light throughout the facility and bring a bright, fresh perspective to expand after-school learning. In addition to the existing homework and enrichment programs offered by the club, Boston Scores will also offer its signature mix of civic engagement and poetry programming.

Infrastructure and increased access: The facility will also include a number of infrastructure upgrades, including a new elevator at the front of the building, a code-compliant handicap ramp, and upgraded ground-water drainage and electrical service.