Community Development Block Grant
Success Stories

Everett, MA - Mayor David Ragucci

Herman A. Day Playground

The Prospect Street neighborhood of Everett is a densely-developed residential area of single- and multi-family dwellings on small lots and narrow streets. In 1995, there were no recreation or open spaces within a mile of the neighborhood. The parking lot adjacent to the abandoned Horace Mann School served as a playground for neighborhood children and students attending a nearby junior high school. This parking lot, holding only what remained of an old swing set, was a safety hazard for anyone using it. With nearly 2,000 residents - most of them low- and moderate-income - living within a quarter-mile radius of the neighborhood's center, the need for a new playground was clear, and the Mayor's Office responded with a commitment of funding for it.

The construction of the Herman A. Day Playground and an adjacent parking lot in the Prospect Street neighborhood involved the demolition of an abandoned, structurally unsound, three-story school building originally constructed in 1897. Because it was an older building, asbestos abatement was a factor, as was historical significance. The project required the City to bring together its building and engineering departments as well as the local and State historical commissions.

Keeping the cost of the project within tight budget constraints meant that all aspects of the design, bidding and oversight of the construction were handled in-house. The plan for the site - just over one acre - called for the construction of a swing section, activity section, sand box, spray pool, sitting areas and green space and, adjacent to this, a parking lot for approximately 53 cars. The playground construction used CDBG funds; the City funded the rehabilitation of the parking area.

Based on the increasing numbers of families and others using the site, officials in Everett report that the new playground and parking lot, added to the other infrastructure and public facility improvements that have been financed by CDBG over the years, are benefitting both the neighborhood and the City overall.

Contact: Marzie Galazka, Assistant Director, Community Development, (617) 394-2313

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