August 17, 2012
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick signed legislation in August authorizing the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) to enter into a lease with the Friends of Daly Field, comprised of representatives from Simmons College, Brighton High School, Brighton, and the surrounding communities.
Simmons College seeks to enter into the lease in order to upgrade and revitalize the six-acre athletic complex located along the Charles River in Brighton, and to use the fields for shared use among Simmons College, Brighton High School, Brighton youth sports, and the general public. Simmons will fund the renovation and maintenance of the playing fields, in return for shared use.
Led by the Allston-Brighton delegation including Senator Will Brownsberger, Representative Michael Moran, Representative Kevin Honan, and Boston City Councilor Mark Ciommo, the bill aims to revitalize the existing playing fields, which are in poor condition and have been underutilized for many years.
Simmons entered into this unique public-private partnership because it has been looking for new athletic fields for its athletics programs. More than a year ago, community and business activists informed Simmons officials of the Allston-Brighton community's desire to renovate Daly Field for their use, as well as for high school athletics. Simmons saw the opportunity to create a public-private partnership as a clear benefit to the public, the Allston-Brighton and surrounding communities, and the College. This partnership will provide revitalized playing fields for all.
"At a time when private institutions are being asked to provide more financial support because of limited public budgets, we believe that this partnership offers a strong alternative," said Simmons President Helen Drinan.
Simmons has spent more than a year working in collaboration and talking with community, legislative, and school leaders. Drinan said she looks forward to the continued public process that lies ahead including community meetings and environmental reviews. With the recent signing of this bill, local legislators, Simmons College, and the Friends of Daly Field, will enter a new phase of collaborative discussions with the community, public officials, local organizations, and the DCR regarding next steps to revitalize Daly Field.
To read more about the project, including a FAQ, please click here.