August 9, 2012
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick signed legislation authorizing the 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 would be required to 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 College became interested in this partnership to provide new athletic fields for its top-ranked athletics programs. More than a year ago, a community and business activist approached Simmons about the Allston-Brighton community's desire to renovate Daly Field for expanded use. Local legislators and Simmons saw the opportunity to create a public-private partnership that would benefit the public, 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 for 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. The College recognizes that a great deal of process 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 DCR regarding next steps to revitalize Daly Field.