Curley Community Center in South Boston reopens after $31.2 million renovation

BOSTON — For the next two months, city residents can enjoy free programs and events at the newly-renovated Curley Community Center in South Boston, the mayor said.

The center officially reopened on Friday after a $31.2 million renovation, Mayor Michelle Wu said.

The center now includes state-of-the art fitness and activity spaces for community members of all ages, and “was built with climate resiliency features to better protect the beachfront facility from flooding and coastal storms,” Wu said in a statement.

“The renovations to the Curley Community Center transform the space into the family-friendly, accessible facility our residents deserve and have been waiting for,” said Wu. “The design complements the natural beauty of South Boston’s shoreline, while also providing modern indoor spaces to gather for health and community. I’m grateful to our City departments and partners at every level of government for their support in reopening this beloved community amenity.”

The building originally opened in 1931 as a bathhouse and was dedicated by former Mayor James Michael Curley as a “monument to health.” It was last renovated in 1989 and is a quarter-mile long.

The interior renovations include open and accessible hallways throughout the entire building, fitness rooms (including weight training and cardio machines), a yoga/dance studio, childrens’ space, womens’ and mens’ steam and sauna, senior space, teen space, multi-purpose spaces, and offices.

The renovation includes a new deck area behind the center with ramps to the beach for people with mobility needs.

The center is designed to serve all ages, including a large senior population. Beginning this summer, the Ethos Senior Cafe will serve free lunch to seniors daily. Seniors will also be able to participate in morning stretches, community social walks, card and board games, senior fitness, book clubs, and more.

The center also has youth-only spaces and will be hosting weekly family friendly activities as well as ReadBoston Storymobile visits.

Wu said the renovations also included measures to combat the impacts of climate change and future “king tides,’’ such as an open basement so water and sand can flow in and out, interior waterproofing, and removable metal plates to help hold back water on the ocean side.

“We are thrilled to be able to re-open the Curley Community Center and welcome residents into this beautiful new space,” said Chief of Operations Dion Irish. “We’re very proud to renovate this historical building to meet the needs of our communities today, including innovative flood resilience and accessibility measures to ensure everyone in our community can enjoy the facility.”

The City of Boston’s Public Facilities Department managed the construction project working with designLAB architects and Boston Building and Bridge Corp general contractors.

Due to nesting of the threatened Piping Plover birds, there will be no beach access from the center until wildlife officials determine that beach access does not pose a risk to the birds. In 1986, there were only 140 breeding pairs of piping plovers in Massachusetts. Through careful conservation efforts, the population has increased to over 1,000 breeding pairs in 2022. BCYF is working with the Boston Conservation Commission and the State to secure beach access for the near future. Members are welcome to use the nearby beaches surrounding the center for this summer.

For the first two months of operation, there will be no charge for membership or programming but visitors need to create a membership at Boston.gov/BCYF-Registration. Registration for classes and programs can be found on the center’s webpage, Boston.gov/BCYF-Curley.

More information can be found at: http://boston.gov/bcyf.

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