As summer ends and we begin another school year, I would like to update our residents on several projects taking place throughout the City as well as a few key announcements. We are working very hard to complete many of our street projects prior to the cold weather and appreciate your cooperation as you drive, ride and walk throughout the community.
The following areas remain a priority of my Administration as we move forward.
As many of you know, my Administration announced in February the plans for a new Medford Police Station. Since then, we have been actively meeting with Context Architecture to plan and discuss details of the new 35,000 square foot, three story facility to be located at 90 Main St, which is currently home to the Medford Police Training Academy. Plans should be out to bid by May, 2018 with the anticipated completion to be June 2019.
Once complete, the Medford Police Station will be the central location for Administration, Records, Patrol, Training, Detectives, Detention, Community Services and 911 communications. There will be a welcoming lobby with access to community services and private consultation space with fully integrated technology and building security systems in place.
The new facility will have a much more efficient space for use, code compliant booking lock-up facilities, separate clean and bright locker rooms for female and male staff, and an up-to-date evidence processing laboratory. This police station will be the host of all 911 communications for the City of Medford, which includes our fire department.
I am proud of the great work our women and men in uniform do to keep everyone in our City safe and I know that the new headquarters will serve as a positive asset for our citizens and the entire police force.
The Medford Public Library, built in 1959 in the heart of Medford Square, welcomes all members of our community to explore, learn, research and share new ideas. With the growing population in our City and need to expand as well as upgrade resources, we began brainstorming and took action.
Our Library Director, Barbara Kerr along with the City Council, the Library Board of Trustees and the City collaborated efforts and submitted a grant application within seven months. As of July 2017, the library was awarded a $12,290,917 million grant from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners to construct a brand-new library in the same location
Plans for the new Medford Public Library include group collaboration spaces perfect for community meetings and group projects, two floors, raising the building from a 28,000-square foot facility to about 44,000 square feet, and the second floor will feature 14 public meeting spaces, a café, an art gallery, an auditorium, a maker space, a digital media lab, a local history room as well as study rooms. Other ideas like a special auditorium just for children is being considered as well. This projected cost of the renovations is $34 million, and will be an incredible facility for residents of all ages.
The average grant award is 45-50% of the eligible costs with the remaining cost incurred by the municipality. Because the library plans to attain the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, it is also eligible for additional state funding through the Green Library Incentive, created by the MBLC in 2008 to encourage sustainable energy-efficient public library construction.
The City and Trustees have secured a professional firm to assist in navigating a capital campaign to help bridge the cost of the library to truly become a public- private partnership.
Our Square is central to civic life of the City and I recognize the need for walkable districts to invigorate vitality, expand access to cultural resources, and activate a revitalized downtown that offers a concentration for opportunities to live, work, and play within Medford. Medford is an extremely desirable location, with walking paths to Wellington Station, vibrant cultural and historical attractions throughout our squares, and open space along the beautiful Mystic River.
The City, through our Office of Community Development, partnered with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council to prepare a Master Plan, which is part of the Community Compact that I signed onto with Lieutenant Governor Karyn Poltio in 2016. A grant of $90,000 funded this study.
The Master Plan defines coordinated strategies and actions that focus on immediate improvements and positioning Medford Square for long term success. The major areas of focus include economic development and vitality, land use and sense of place, transportation and connectivity, as well as open space and quality of life.
We have released the draft Master Plan on the City of Medford website with a more detailed outline of action and implementation.
Riverside Ave Plaza, within Medford Square, will become the hub for arts, entertainment or a relaxing spot to enjoy lunch. The new park will enhance recreation, cultural activities and provide a gathering space for public events.
The design of the project will include the demolition of the former bus shelter (completed) and transforming the area into a spacious, multi-level area. This space will be a fully handicap accessible park with new trees and low level plantings, seating and picnic areas, enhanced lighting, accommodating pavement for passive recreation and space suitable for events and more. Revitalizing this 9,683-square foot space will serve as a key step in our continuous efforts to enhance Medford Square.
Construction for necessary improvements of this space will cost $749,900.00 and funding has been awarded through a Federal Land and Water Conservation Fund Grant ($400,000), State Chapter 90 Funds and City Linkage Funds. The contractor, Virgilio Construction, Inc. began construction this week at the new park site and the designer of the project plans is Crosby Slessinger Smallridge. We anticipate the project will be completed in the Spring of 2018 and will be overseen by the Office of Community Development and Engineering.
Medford is a wonderful community that is filled with history and pride. The City is a robust community with so much to offer, but there is always room for growth and improvement. We continue to have residents’ concerns in mind and strive to do our best in making necessary changes throughout the community. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to my office at (781) 393-2408 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.