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Ferdinand redevelopment design nearing completion

Sandra Larson | 7/18/2012, 8:03 a.m.
Design plans for the new BPS headquarters in Dudley Square include a roof deck on top of the old Ferdinand building, accessible from the sixth floor. (Image courtesy of Mecanoo/Sasaki)

The current floor plan for the sixth floor includes spaces labeled “shared BPS collaborative space” and “shared public/BPS meeting room,” but there have been no answers yet about how or if outside entities could use or lease any of the space. Attendees at the June meeting requested clarification on this, and BPS official Carleton Jones has promised to be at the July 26 meeting with a newly-defined process for allocating the space.

Only a handful of adult community members attended the design meeting, but about 15 teenagers were ushered in by Kai Grant, a task force member and Skylab proponent who leads a program called Diamond Girls that works to foster self-esteem in teen girls. As part of a civic engagement project, Grant said, the girls attend public meetings in their communities.

The young people posed a few questions of their own to the city officials and architects.

One asked how this building will benefit the community of Roxbury 20 or 30 years down the line.

Joe Mulligan of Property and Construction Management responded that the reason Mayor Menino decided to move BPS to Roxbury was to locate the school headquarters close to the highest concentration of students and families. Anderson added that with more than 500 office and retail employees in the building, there could be future job possibilities for Roxbury residents.

 “Will tutoring for struggling students be offered in this building?” asked another girl.

Anderson said she saw no reason such services couldn’t be facilitated by BPS or related groups in the meeting and multimedia rooms. She added that while the city is responsible for constructing the building, their “client,” BPS, will have a say in what types of services might be offered to students and families.

The next Dudley Vision Task Force meeting will be on July 26 at 6 p.m. at Central Boston Elder Services, 2315 Washington St. The proposed agenda includes project schedule updates and design comments.