Nearly eight years have passed since the towns of Abington, Rockland, and Weymouth approved a plan to redevelop the South Weymouth Naval Air Station, but many residents still have questions about the massive, mixed-use project that is now emerging in their backyards.
In order to address public concerns in her town, Weymouth Mayor Susan M. Kay is hosting three informational meetings later this month to discuss issues related to SouthField, the new development at the shuttered air base.
Kay said she decided to hold the series of talks because “many, many residents have asked me about the base.” She said she hopes the meetings will clear up any misconceptions there may be about the redevelopment project, and the future of the 1,400-acre property straddling the three towns.
The roundtable discussions will be held on Feb. 25, 26, and 27 at the Abigail Adams Middle School at 89 Middle St. in Weymouth. They are scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. and end by 9:30 p.m.; there will not be an open microphone, but attendees will have an opportunity to ask questions in writing by filling out cards that will be collected at each meeting.
According to the mayor’s office, the topic of the first meeting will be the history of SouthField, and the discussion will focus on the origins of the project, the documents that govern the redevelopment of the base, the role of the South Shore Tri-Town Development Corp., master developer LNR Property LLC, and the so-called host communities of Abington, Rockland, and Weymouth.
The theme for the second meeting on Feb. 26 will be public safety and education. That conversation will cover the public safety services that are provided by the town of Weymouth, the costs of educating children who live at SouthField, the current contracts that are now in place, and how the town is compensated.
The third meeting on Feb. 27 will examine how Weymouth provides water and sewer services to SouthField and the history behind the current water and sewer contracts.
For more information about the meetings, visit the town of Weymouth’s website or call the mayor’s office at 781-340-5012.
At full build-out, SouthField is slated to be a residential and commercial center with as many as 2,855 homes, 2 million square feet of commercial space, a recreation complex, and an 18-hole golf course. It was designed to be built in phases over a period of 14 years.
Construction of SouthField was originally supposed to start in 2008, so residents could move in the following spring, but the project faced delays and a lagging economy. The first SouthField homes were completed in 2011, and the development is still seeking commercial tenants. Currently about 500 people reside there.Emily Sweeney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @emilysweeney.