The Kennedy Center celebrated the completion of their historic roof replacement project this week, a project that received state funding and City Community Preservation Act (CPA) funding as well.
The Kennedy Center school, formerly the Old Kent School, was designed by Edmund Wheelwright, who also designed the Longfellow Bridge. The original slate roof was more than 100 years old. A complete roof renovation would have been completely beyond the means of a non-profit school serving low-income families, said Director Thara Fuller.
So, funding from the state Health and Human Services budget and from the CPA were critical. City and state leaders who supported funding for the roof project included Senator Sal DiDomenico, State Rep. Dan Ryan, Councilor Lydia Edwards and Mayor Martin Walsh.
“They recognized that the Kennedy Center School is not only historic but also a living and active institution providing critical services to young children and their families through Head Start, Universal Pre-K, and subsidized childcare programs for working parents,” said Fuller.
On Tuesday morning, in a short ceremony, the Kennedy Center staff thanked those who played a role in the project, including elected officials, CPA members, architects and construction crews.
“The Community Preservation Committee receives many compelling applications for CPA funds, but what set the Kennedy Center apart in last year’s funding round was not only its strong historic preservation plan, but its provision of important, much needed social services in the building to be preserved,” said Michael Parker, a CPA member who lives in Charlestown. “Charlestown is truly fortunate to have the Kennedy Center and its dedicated staff in our community.”
State Rep. Dan Ryan said congratulations were in order for lining up the funding and getting very highly-skilled work completed.
“Congratulations to the Kennedy Center on completion of the roof project,” he said. “This revitalization retains a bit of Charlestown history while continuing to house current programming needs. This collaborative effort is an example of exactly how the Community Preservation Act should work. I thank our City partners, Mayor Walsh and Councilor Lydia Edwards, the local CPA board and staff for administering this program, and Senator DiDomenico for his continued partnership in securing State funds for Charlestown.”
The roof on the Kennedy Center had been in place for more than a century and had outlived its useful life.