14 Sep 2014
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More Details on 900 Worcester Street

900 Worcester St. Committee presents Selectmen with the town's plans for the St James the Great site.

More Details on 900 Worcester Street

 

Swimming, ice skating and soccer may be coming to Wellesley in one spot--although perhaps not at the same time. 

After Town Meeting decided the fate of the St. James Property in June, a committee was tasked with developing a plan and reporting back to the Board of Selectmen--which happened at last night's Selectmen's meeting.

The committee plans to have a pool, a field and an ice rink on the site. The three components will be zoned and built as approved, meaning they can be built independently of one another. 

See the  presentation made at the meeting under PDFs to the right.

According to the slideshow presented last night, the entire project--including land acquisition and the three facilities--may cost around $20.8 million. This is expected to come from a mix of sources, including some private sources.

However, before anything is built, there is still a fair amount of groundwork to be done. 

The town began doing some of the due diligence testing at the site, but has not done anything too invasive at the request of the St. James the Great Church and the recommendation of the Town Attorney. Further tests will be held off until after the last parishioner appeal is decided.

Pending the above, the field would be the first section completed. 

The Committee broke into three sub-committees to manage the three facilities which the town plans to eventually build at the site. However, if funding for each component does not come through, the plan allows for replacing one or more piece. 

The Field Subcommittee, headed by Tom Harrington, plans to build a synthetic field, similar to that in use at the Sprague School, with lights and safety nets. The new field would also be a boon to Wellesley Recreation, as it would allow them to run daytime programs for adults and seniors.

At the beginning of November, the town asked residents to take a Swimming Pool Survey. Thus far, a little less than 25 percent of households have chimed in on the survey, and respondents have left around 6000 comments on what residents would use, Aquatic Facility Sub-Committee Co-Chair Suzy Littlefield said. The survey is still open on the town website.

The ice rink committee expects to have a single-sheet ice rink, which--with 500 seats--should take up about 40,000 sq ft. They are looking into who will build and develop the rink, as there are some options--between possible state funding with the town's operation, to giving it to a private operator or the YMCA. 

The town plans to purchase the long-sought St. James The Great Church property, although a group of parishioners filed a final appeal to the Vatican in May. The  in July this year. 

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