Reconstruction of the Connors Pool, Waltham

connors pool
2012 Opening of Connors Pool, Graham/Meus Architects Design

Completed July 2012 Charles River Reservation               Cost: $5.3 Million

The new Connors Pool reopened in the summer of 2012 after being closed for over 10 years. This is a state-of-the art facility providing the latest in modern aquatic design, universal access and public safety standards. The new pool has an array of areas for multiple uses; zero-depth entry, tot area, spray features, and a deep end with lap swimming area.

This facility is the first-of-its-kind for DCR, featuring a zero net energy pool, bathhouse and equipment building. These pool buildings use solar photovoltaic energy for electricity and solar thermal energy for hot water and some building heat. The entire facility is 100% electrically sufficient; unused energy goes back to the grid. The solar thermal units also provide heat during off-seasons as a waste product, with no other heating system required to maintain building temperature and also heat family bathrooms for public use during shoulder seasons.

Connors Pool Project Summary  pdf format of Connors Pool Project Summary

Construction of the New Houghton’s Pond Bathhouse, Milton

Completed July 2012 Blue Hills Reservation            Cost $3.2 Million

Houghton’s Pond is perhaps one of DCR’s busiest inland urban beaches.  The outdated bathhouse had insufficient sanitary facilities, poor accessibility and building components that did not meet current codes.  The new building offers sanitary facilities including a family bathroom, improved space for staff operations including first aid room, lifeguard break room, manager’s office, boat room and secure storage.  Bathhouse amenities include extensive landscaping and outdoor rinse and changing stations.

Former Houghton’s Pond Bathhouse, constructed 1968)
Former Houghton’s Pond Bathhouse, constructed 1968)
Houghton's Opening
Houghton's Opening from (7-9-12)

Peddocks Island Improvements, Hull

Completed February 2012     Boston Harbor Islands State Park        Collective Investment: Over $8 Million

DCR’s adaptive reuse scheme for Peddocks moves the island from military use to public recreational use through a combination of: selective demolition of 11 buildings, stabilization of 12 buildings for future use, and rehabilitation of the Guardhouse for use as a visitor center, conference space, public restrooms and a caretakers apartment. Continued development of a camping area featuring both tent sites and 5-6 yurts should be complete by summer 2013.

This project is a collaboration between the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Boston Harbor Island Alliance (BHIA), and the National Park Service (NPS). The NPS, through its Olmsted Landscape Preservation Program, is assisting with site layout of the camping area and a vegetation management plan for the island.

BHIA contributed $7.8 million in mitigation funds toward this project. The project team hopes to continue work on Peddocks with stabilization of the chapel and extensive landscaping at the pier to welcome new visitors to Peddocks Island once again.

aerial view of farm
Aerial view of Peddocks, 1944
farm house
1905 Stable
Main Project Sign
Overview of Project area 2011Architect: Bruner/Cott & Associates Contractor: Consigli

George’s Island Improvements, Boston

Architect McGinley Kalsow
Architect McGinley Kalsow

Complete June 2010     Boston Harbor Islands State Park     Investment: $10 Million

George’s Island serves as a transportation and orientation hub for 80,000 visitors a year to the Boston Harbor Islands National Park Area. Fort Warren, a National Historic Landmark, dominates the island’s 39 acres. DCR and the Boston Harbor Island Alliance entered into a public-private partnership to provide an exceptional visitor experience on the island by renovating the former Mine Storage Building for use as a Visitor Center. The sensitively rehabilitated building features new interpretive exhibits centering on the island's history as a military installation protecting Boston Harbor over the last 300 years, conference space,expanded restrooms, a gift shop, administrative offices, and caretaker housing. A new shade shelter structure was constructed adjacent to the building to provide much needed shade and house a new full-service food concession. This structure was designed to evoke the form and design of the historic Cable Tank building that once stood on the site. Site enhancements included the addition of native plantings, seating, all new utilities to buildings, and period lighting.

Related work included construction of a new modular Maintenance Facility, featuring a 30kW photovoltaic array on the roof to power new Visitor Center, and the rehabilitation of the historic Generator Building to house photovoltaic battery storage and back-up generators

DCR’s Energy & Environmental Sustainability Program

DCR’s Energy & Environmental Sustainability Program, coordinated by the Architecture Section, is charged with assisting DCR comply with Executive Order 484:  “Leading By Example – Clean Energy and Efficient Buildings” and Executive Order 515:  “Establishing an Environmental Purchasing Policy”.  The program exercises leadership by modeling ways to adapt to climate change, minimize green house gas emissions and integrate sustainable practices and approaches throughout our system of open spaces and recreational facilities.  The program develops innovative solutions to critical energy and environmental problems and promotes the procurement and use of environmentally preferable products and services, here are four example projects:

Off-grid Renewable Energy System Upgrade for George’s Island, Boston

Maintenance Building
Maintenance Building with PV Array July 2010

As part of the George’s Island upgrade project, an off-grid photovoltaic diesel hybrid electrical generation system (PVDS) was constructed. This system has been carefully managed and is now being enhanced in the hopes of creating a net zero island. New generators have been installed, a battery watering system added, the battery room deficiencies corrected, the SMA Sunny Islands and Inverters re-programmed and funding for the expansion of the system has been approved.

DCAM Accelerated Energy Program

DCR, working with the Division of Capital Asset Management’s (DCAM) Accelerated Energy Program, is planning to implement energy and water conservation upgrades at 213 DCR sites. Three hundred and nineteen buildings will be audited and lighting, plumbing, door and window, equipment and insulation upgrades prescribed as appropriate. Phase I building audits have been completed at Mount Tom, Nantasket Beach, Otter River, Walden Pond and Wompatuck, and a total of $186,000 is to be spent on energy conservation measures at these sites in 2013. In phase 2, an additional $2.35 million is to be spent at DCR facilities.

Energy Efficient LED Bulb Installation

In 2012, 40 DCR sites received and installed 1,787 high efficiency US made Light Emitting Diode (LED) bulbs. The bulbs replaced incandescent and compact fluorescent bulbs resulting in saving 190,000-kilowatt hours annually and labor costs as the useful lifetime of these bulbs is 25,000 hours, compared with 1,000 to 3,000 hours for the incandescent and compact fluorescent bulbs they replaced. To date, 168 LED street lights have been installed on Nonantum Road  (Boston, Watertown & Newton) and Nahant Parkway.

Outdoor Lighting

DCR maintains over 12,500 streetlights consisting of both metered and unmetered lighting in the service territories of both NSTAR and National Grid and maintains parking lot, pathway, and field outdoor lighting fixtures.   

DCR is now studying how to manage, maintain, upgrade and enhance DCR’s lighting to better serve the public interest by promoting cost savings, energy efficiency and public safety. The final report of the study will contain specific recommendations for the installation of a new, more energy efficient lighting system.

Martini Shell Renovation, Hyde Park, Boston

Completed Spring 2011     Neponset River Reservation     Cost: $600,000

The Francis D, Martini Memorial Shell in Hyde Park was built in 1960 and designed by A.J. Carpenter, Architect, of Boston.  The Band Shell was dedicated to Private Francis D. Martini who was a resident of Hyde Park and killed in action in World War II.  The Martini Shell, approximately 34 feet tall and with 234 square feet of stage area, presents a unique sculptural profile.  It was originally constructed of steel lath and plaster on a light gauge metal frame with two small storage rooms below/behind the shell.

Over the years the Martini shell fell into disrepair and was heavily vandalized with graffiti and suffered from years of lack of maintenance. This project involved complete renovation of the Martini Shell. The shell itself was completely stripped, waterproofed and recoated with stucco.  An exterior deck was added  as well as a sloped walkway to improve access for equipment handling. The area was landscaped to improve overall aesthetics. The interior spaces were re-worked to provide a staging area and dressing room area for productions. Additionally a restroom was added to the facility. The facility was made universally accessible and brought up to current codes. This facility serves as a  community theater for local groups (musicians, theater productions, etc.).

Martini Shell Before Renovation
Martini Shell Before Renovation
Martini Shell After Renovation
Martini Shell After Renovation