(Image courtesy DCR)
The Murphy Memorial Rink in South Boston will soon receive a much need face lift and expansion.
Department of Conservation and Recreation officials joined South Boston residents and elected officials Thursday afternoon to announce the $1.8 million investment.
The money, which will come from DCR’s Capital Budget, will support renovations to the Day Boulevard building’s lobby space, locker rooms, and concession area. The funds will also support a facility expansion of close to 3,000 square-feet, providing more space for additional locker rooms, team rooms, an expanded pro shop and concession space, and expanded viewing areas.
The larger concession space will also include an outdoor window, allowing the rink to sell concessions to beachgoers and youth sport teams year-round.
“The kids in this generation are facing a lot of challenges,” Murray said. “Having an attractive, well-managed, safe recreation facility will hopefully get them out and off their cell phones and laptops.”
Murphy was constructed in 1961. Barring the enclosure of the rink and other small repairs and renovations, the building has been left largely untouched as it served countless generations of South Boston residents and youth sports teams that use the adjacent field.
“It’s a very important day for the community,” said state Representative Nick Collins, who first found himself on the Murphy’s ice in 1992. “I know what this did for my childhood and what it does for kids today.”
Many credited Collins with securing the funds for the rink, money he has sought since he was an aide in Senator Jack Hart’s office.
“We first approached Rep. Collins about the improvements when he was an aide with Hart,” explained Tom McGrath, president of the South Boston Youth Hockey League. “He’s carried the ball for us and it’s great to see it happen.”
One thing that wasn’t lost on the audience Thursday, was the importance of the rink to the neighborhood’s youth, especially its young women, who are currently swelling the ranks of South Boston Youth Hockey.
“There’s a growing demand of young girls who play hockey,” said Raul Silva, deputy chief engineer for DCR. “That’s a great problem to have and we want to help support that demographic.”
Work, which will also help the facility comply with ADA and FEMA standards, is scheduled to begin by May 1, with it expected to be completed by December 2014. Plans call for the building to be expanded south, towards Day Boulevard and the Farragut Statue. A contractor has not been selected for the project.