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City approves new 75,000 square foot fieldhouse in Dorchester

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By Mike Sullivan, WBZ-TV

DORCHESTER — The Boston Planning and Zoning board just put the final stamp of approval on a new Dorchester Boys and Girls Club fieldhouse. The 75,000 square foot facility will be an outlet for the city’s youth.

“The need is great, but it seems now more than ever kids need a place to go,” said Bob Scannell, President and CEO of the Dorchester Boys and Girls Club. “Especially after the pandemic, what we are seeing is a lot of anxiety. The kids need a safe place to go.”

The approval comes after weeks of violence in Dorchester. Two separate shootings on Geneva Avenue resulted in four people shot. Scannell says parents and children lean on the Boys and Girls Club for solace, guidance, and opportunity.

“They know that out of everything that might have happened on their way, they know that when they come through that door that I’m going to be the silliest person they see,” laughed Queenette Santos, Dorchester Boys & Girls Club VP of Youth Teen Programming. “When parents know that their children are going to be in a safe place, a happy, fun place, they are just like, there is nothing greater than that.”

The new structure will have a fields, courts, a theater, training kitchen, and more. The building is going in on Mount Vernon Street next to St. Christopher Catholic Church.