December 11, 2016

Inbox [Dec. 11]: Bancroft School opens new fieldhouse, Worcester Public Library debuts new STEM program, ex-courthouse back on market, UMass increases downtown presence, Shrewsbury panel awards culture grants

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Courtesy of Bancroft School (Karla Cinquanta photo)

Officials and friends gather to celebrate the opening of Bancroft School's new fieldhouse.

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Bancroft School holds grand opening of new fieldhouse

Bancroft School held a grand opening of its newly renovated athletics fieldhouse located on the east end of the Bancroft campus at 100 Shore Drive, Worcester.

Situated on a hilltop overlooking Indian Lake, the fieldhouse features an indoor track, a turf field, flexible-use meeting and conference spaces, and a wall of windows that provides spectacular lake views.

Bancroft School's new fieldhouse

Courtesy of Bancroft School (Karla Cinquanta photo)

Bancroft School’s new fieldhouse

“All the pieces have fallen into place,” Head of School Trey Cassidy said, “and we’re proud to celebrate the culmination of a vision to create a beautiful, functional, and modern fieldhouse that would allow more consistent year-round training by our teams, and give non-Bancroft athletes and their families from the local community an experience more reflective of Bancroft School’s high standards.”

Describing the space as “big, bright, and breathtaking,” Steve Kelley, director of facilities and programs for the Field House, said, “We are already hosting a local indoor soccer league in the fieldhouse, and we’re planning other ways to use the spaces for community functions.”

Formerly known as the Higgins Building, the 100 Shore Drive facility has had various owners over the years. Many remember it as a hockey rink, and for a time it was part of the Greendale YMCA. Bancroft purchased the facility from the YMCA in 2008.

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Worcester Public Library debuts new STEM program, TinkerLab Tuesdays, for ages 9 and older

The Worcester Public Library will be offering a new STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) program for children ages 9 and up. TinkerLab Tuesdays, which debuted Dec. 6, are at 4 p.m. in the Tween Area of the Main Library, 3 Salem Square.

TinkerLab Tuesday invites participants to “wreck the tech” while they tinker, build, and hang out in the TinkerLab. Activities include disassembling old computer towers, phones, remote controls, calculators, DVD players and other electronics.

“We can learn a lot about how things work by simply taking them apart and maybe putting them back together,” said Allison Pavao, children’s librarian. “Beyond STEM skills, this program encourages the do-it-yourself culture, which ultimately involves hands-on experimentation, open-ended discovery, and most importantly, simply learning through play.”

There will also be other activities available for those who don’t want to “wreck the tech,” including Lego architecture sets, adult coloring materials, and assorted other projects. After school snacks will be provided.


Worcester to seek new buyer for former courthouse

The city of Worcester was informed last week that Brady Sullivan Properties will terminate its sale agreement to buy the former Worcester County Courthouse from the city.

The city plans to post a Request For Information to interested developers as soon as possible to develop the historic property.

As part of the agreement, the city will retain a $120,000 deposit.

Brady Sullivan agreed to purchase the former courthouse in 2015 for $1.2 million, with plans to convert the building into a projected 115 market-rate residential apartments with 3,000 square feet of retail space. The former courthouse, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, consists of about 250,000 square feet located on 4.28 acres at Main and Highland streets.

Much of the required environmental cleanup of the property is already complete, with $2 million in remediation work paid for by the state. Another $1 million in state-funded work remains to replace windows, which will be done in concert with a future developer.

The property will also benefit from an $11 million complete reconstruction of Main Street, from Highland Street to Chandler Street. That work is scheduled to be completed in 2017.

Read the entire story on the city of Worcester website


Mercantile Center welcomes UMass Memorial Health Care to new, expanded space

Mercantile Center last week welcomed UMass Memorial Health Care, the city’s largest employer, to its new 18,000-square-foot office space with an official ribbon-cutting ceremony and remarks from senior project executives and city officials.

As Mercantile Center’s largest tenant, UMass Memorial Health Care will provide office space for 500 information technology employees on two floors, bringing its IT staff together under one roof for the first time.

Eric Dickson, MD, president and CEO of UMass Memorial Health Care, said, “This is an important moment in our history, one that both reaffirms our commitment to the city of Worcester as well as to our phenomenal staff, ensuring our ability to continue to attract and retain top talent. We are thrilled with our brand new, high caliber office environment, located in the heart of a revitalized downtown well on its way to becoming a top business hub in our state.”

“Mercantile Center is a key piece of the redevelopment of downtown Worcester and as one of the state’s leading innovative health care providers, UMass Memorial Health Care is a perfect fit for this brand new, cutting edge office space. We’re thankful to be a part of such an important project to the future of New England’s second largest city,” said Anthony Consigli, CEO of Consigli Construction Co.

“With this expansion, Worcester is closer to achieving an important goal — the revitalization of our downtown, which makes Worcester even more attractive to potential great employers like UMass Memorial, as well as a destination for hotels, residences, and new business of all kinds,” said Chip Norton, president of Franklin Realty Advisors LLC, one of the developers of Mercantile Center. “Their early commitment to this project was a critical element to the success of Mercantile Center, and sets the standard for attracting new tenants to our center and to our city,” he added.


Shrewsbury Cultural Council awards 30 grants

The Shrewsbury Cultural Council has announced the award of 30 grants, totaling $9,600, to help support a variety of cultural programs to be offered in the area through 2017. All applicants received partial funding because of limited funds.

Grant recipients are: Robert Wilson, Visiting Artists at Southgate; Mark Adler, Oak Middle School Band Composition; Gregory Maichack, Pastel Paint at Shrewsbury Public Library; Jim Manning, Minecraft Madness at SPL; Shrewsbury Montessori School, African Arts; Roger Tincknell, Music From Ireland to America; Worcester Chamber Music Society, free concerts; Northborough Area Community Chorus, Holiday Concerts; Ellen S. Church, Mass in Time of War & Light Eternal; Centre Stage Productions, Oak Middle School Theater.

Also: Fitchburg Art Museum, 82nd regional arts exhibitions; Roger Bruno, Too Human (jazz) Great American Songs; New England Symphony Orchestra, Celtic Fantasy Concert, Clinton; Tracy Calabresi, Shrewsbury High School Hackathon; Carol Tasker, Heifer Farm International, Rutland; Lynne McKenney Lydick, Gen Ward-Civil War Letters; Shrewsbury Council on Aging, Trivia Music Event; Woman of Note, a cappella Barbershop Chorus; Missy Hollenback, Clean and Green in Shrewsbury Reuse; Bonnie Narcisi, Regatta Players, “First Date,” “Children of Eden.”

Also: Chamber Music MetroWest, musical activities, storytelling; Spring Street PTO, children’s author, Gordon Korman; Arts on the Green, three concerts at First Congregational Church; New Repertory Theatre, “Romeo & Juliet”; John Root, sing, play flute, clarinet, sax at Shrewsbury Nursing Home; Shrewsbury Council on Aging “Harps and Hearts” at Senior Center; Shrewsbury COA, “Up Close Magic” at Senior Center; Shrewsbury COA, “Cowboy Songs and Yodels;” Shrewsbury COA, “Songs of Stage and Screen;” Shrewsbury COA, “Comedian David Shikes.”

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