Mayor Gary Christenson and Ward 6 Councillor Neil Kinnon recently hosted the official ribbon cutting of the refurbished South Broadway Park and Baseball Field. State Senator Jason Lewis, Councillors Craig Spadafora, David D’Arcangelo, Debbie DeMaria and James Nestor along with the Park’s Design and Building Team joined many family members, friends and colleagues of the two prominent Maldonians for whom the Park and Baseball Field were named.
The Park was dedicated to the former Malden Mayor Richard C. Howard whose leadership and many accomplishments left a lasting footprint on the City of Malden. Councillor Kinnon spoke about Mayor Howard’s 16 year tenure, during which Malden’s entire school system, Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12, was rebuilt and a new Senior Center was constructed. Improvement of the City’s parks along with the creation of the island and delta Beautification Project enhancing the overall look of the City was also a priority for him. The rehabilitation of South Broadway Park was approved during his last year in office.
The Baseball Field was named for Robert “Bob” Rotondi, the legendary Babe Ruth baseball coach and all things baseball in the City of Malden. Mayor Christenson reflected that for more than 60 years, Bob dedicated his life to helping our youth through the sport and has also spent many years assisting the City to organize sports groups’ use of the parks. Beautiful plaques commemorating the two honorees and the new Park sign were unveiled during the ceremony.
The Park’s extensive renovations include a new synthetic turf field for baseball, soccer and lacrosse; dugouts; bullpens/batting cages; lights for night play; spectator seating; four tennis courts, also lit for night play; and a tot lot designed to accommodate a broad range of ages from toddlers to elementary school. The project also includes improved and lit parking areas; bike racks, pedestrian walkways, benches, site lighting and landscaping throughout the park; a utility building for maintenance equipment and storage; and a new roundabout at the terminus of Maplewood Street and the entrances to Broadway Plaza, South Broadway Park, Maplewood Park and Malden Catholic. The first phase of this project was completed in early 2013 and included considerable drainage improvements in Hanover Street, Kennard Street, South Broadway Park and Maplewood Street.
The Park’s $7.6 million transformation was funded in partnership with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts through its Parkland Acquisitions and Renovations for Communities (PARC) and Gateway Communities Grant Programs, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant Program, Malden Catholic High School, Mystic Valley Regional Charter School and Broadway Plaza Shopping Center. The project was administered by the Malden Redevelopment Authority on behalf of the City.
The improvements were designed by Meridian Associates, Inc. (prime consultant and civil engineer) in association with Shadley Associates, P.C. (landscape architect), Fay, Spofford & Thorndike (electrical and structural engineer) and Nangle Consulting Associates (environmental consultant). The South Broadway Park Improvements were constructed by RAD Sports. N. Granese & Sons, Inc. constructed the Hanover Street Drainage Improvements.
Photos by Paul Hammersley, City of Malden