After a $12 million renovation, the Paris Street Community Center in East Boston reopened on Saturday complete with batting cages, a teen center, dance studio and the dedication of the Anthony Albano Basketball Court.
Mayor Martin J. Walsh and other community leaders cut the ribbon on the century-plus old building that was renovated over the last two years. New features also include a community room, new exercise spaces, a rock climbing wall, and an entire floor of programming space.
“This renovation is a great example of how we’re enhancing our community spaces to meet the changing needs and populations of our residents,”Walsh said in a statement. “For over 100 years this center has been the heart of the community— and now it’s ready to serve East Boston residents for another 100 years.”
A computer lab is equipped with 25 computers, wifi, and big screen TVs. Interior renovations include upgrades to the mechanical systems, boilers, window and door replacements and athletic facility improvements, the statement said.
For many in the neighborhood, like 19-year-old Ervin Lemus, the Paris Street Community Center has been a second home.
“I’m so excited for our gym to reopen,” Lemus said in the statement.
The basketball court was dedicated to Albano, a former star athlete and staff member at East Boston High School who died from cancer in 2014.
“Growing up in the Maverick projects as an underprivileged youth, our father always credited sports as an outlet to compete in a safe, structured environment,” said Anthony Albano, Jr. in the statement.
“I can’t think of a more fitting tribute to a man that impacted so many lives in East Boston,” said City Councilor Sal LaMattina in the statement.Maddie Kilgannon can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @MaddieKilgannon.