Rec. center inches closer to reality

JACKSON SQ.—The Kelly Ice Rink’s future new home, the Jackson Square Recreation Center at Columbus Avenue and Ritchie Street, has taken another step towards completion.

Urban Edge announced its fund-raising plan for the $10.4 million still not secured for the building’s construction.

Urban Edge also announced it will form a stakeholder group that will develop and manage programming at the center, Urban Edge spokesperson Katie Provencher told the Gazette.

The fundraising will start with a “1,000 Friends” campaign, where Urban Edge will aim for 1,000 individual donations from the community.

“Everyone should give what they can, is the consensus,” Provencher said.

Urban Edge is also aiming to secure $4.1 million in new market tax credit investments and $6 million from a capital campaign.

New market tax credit investments are federal tax credits that are aimed at promoting economic growth projects in low-income neighborhoods that benefit low-income residents.

The project is expected to cost $16 million to build. It has already secured $5.6 million from a state bond program.

Urban Edge asked community members at a Jan. 24 meeting at the Anna Mae Cole Center for input on who should sit on the stakeholder group.

“People have been talking about [the rink’s possible involvement with] sport organizations, youth organizations, neighborhoods groups, the Boston police,” Provencher said.

The stakeholder group would aim to include as many contributors as possible, Provencher said.

“We’ll start meeting with folks and hear what they have to say [about who should be included],” Provencher said. “We’ll take all that input and make sure we’re hitting each category.”

The as-yet undecided stakeholder group will influence the programs offered at the recreation center and will eventually help Urban Edge hire an operator for the center, Provencher said.

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