By Seth Daniel
When the recipients of the new Charlestown Community Mitigation Fund – money from the Wynn Boston Harbor development – became public last week, one of the top recipients was The Kennedy Center in Hayes Square, but the $10,000 received from that was just one piece of a larger story that involves relocating the Center’s Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC) branch to the main building.
Terry Kennedy, director of the Kennedy Center, said this week that they are embarking on a project to move the BHCC pre-school and toddler rooms from the college to the Kennedy Center building. Using several funding sources in addition to the Mitigation Fund, they hope to accomplish a rehabilitation project and the relocation by September.
“Our last day at Bunker Hill will be Sept. 1,” he said. “Our goal is to open her classroom space here at the Kennedy Center…That will require a pretty substantial renovation. We have to separate a room and add two bathrooms. Our goal is to have a smooth transition and open on Sept. 4 seamlessly.”
The new space at the Kennedy Center will include two toddler rooms, one of them to be associated with ABCD early Head Start program. Another will be open to everyone.
There will also be a pre-school with 20 kids transitioning over.
“The upside is that we will all be in one building now and not in two sites,” he said. “This is exciting also because the building has never had toddlers in it and now it will. When we’re done, the building will be completely full. I am certain that it will work out fine.”
In addition to the Wynn money, he said they are using other resources as well, but they hope not to have to take out a loan for the work. Fundraising has been going well and he said the organization is in solid shape to make the project on.
The situation unfolded due to the fact that BHCC needed extra space after they were not able to cobble the financing together last year to embark on an expansion project. After that happened, they needed to commandeer all available space and the Kennedy Center pre-school and toddler program – which services students, faculty and staff at BHCC mostly – was on the list for space to recover.
BHCC did not immediately respond for comment on the relocation or the expansion.
The current employees of the Center at BHCC will also transition to the existing building in September as well, he said, making it a smooth process for the children.
“When we’re done, the building is going to be hopping,” Kennedy said. “It’s going to work out great.”