Governor Patrick Announces Infrastructure, Education, Open Space Investments that will Create Growth and Opportunity in Metro South
New Science Building at Massasoit, Park at Brockton's City Hall Plaza and support for Queset Commons in Easton
BROCKTON – Wednesday, November 20, 2012 – Governor Deval Patrick today announced a $27.4 million investment for a new Allied Health and Science Building at Massasoit Community College, $4 million to re-design and construct a central public green space at Brockton’s City Hall Plaza, and a $1 million grant to support Queset Commons, a mixed-use district in Easton. Governor Patrick made the announcements while speaking to the Metro South Chamber of Commerce at Massasoit Community College.
“Growth requires investment, and these investments in education, infrastructure and open space will bring growth and opportunity to the Metro South and beyond,” said Governor Patrick. “If we want to expand opportunity in our Commonwealth, this is what government must do and do well.”
The new Allied Health and Science Building at Massasoit Community College will be the College’s first new building on the Brockton campus since the mid-1970’s. This investment is critical to the College’s expansion of the Allied Health Programs to support the programs growing enrollment, which has been dramatic due to increased enrollments, and will allow for the expansion of program offerings. Massasoit Community College has traditionally been a leader in educating workers in the healthcare fields. The new Health Sciences building will allow the College to expand and introduce more students to the latest technology in laboratory, diagnostic, and medical simulation in the Allied Health Programs. The new facility will also increase student capacity to meet the projected needs of the workforce.
“Access to first-rate facilities at our institutions of public higher education gives our students the best possible education in critical areas such as science and health when demand for those skills is higher than ever,” said Secretary of Education Matthew Malone. “We know that if we are able to inspire our students in state of the art classrooms while also teaching them in-demand skills, they will be better prepared for the workforce needs of a global economy.”
“I am delighted that the Commonwealth is funding the creation of a state-of-the-art science and clinical instructional facility for our students,” said Dr. Charles Wall, President of Massasoit Community College. “The space provided by this new building will enable the expansion of our current STEM and allied health programs, which will position us to better meet the ever-growing demand for highly trained health care professionals. This exciting opportunity will have a positive impact on both the City of Brockton and the entire southeastern Massachusetts region, an impact that will be felt for generations to come. I am thrilled that the Commonwealth is enhancing its investment in our students, and in the economic development of our region, through the vital role that Massasoit Community College plays in southeastern Massachusetts.”
Governor Patrick today also announced a $1 million MassWorks Infrastructure Grant Program award to the town of Easton to support Queset Commons, a mixed-use district in the heart of Easton. When complete, the development will include 280 residential units and 116,000 square feet of office and retail space. These new units of housing are consistent with the Patrick Administration’s goal of creating 10,000 new multifamily housing units per year. The funding announced today will also provide for the construction of improvements at the Route 138 / Route 123 intersection to improve traffic flow and pedestrian safety.
“We remain committed to working with local communities to help identify opportunities to maximize growth and spur regional development,” said Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Greg Bialecki. “I look forward to our ongoing partnership with the town of Easton and private industry leaders to explore additional ways to promote continued growth.”
The $4 million in funding to re-design and reconstruct Brockton’s City Hall Plaza will provide a green space surrounding Brockton’s historic city hall, and will replace the old concrete amphitheater with a more inviting, modern structure. The project will reconstruct the plaza to establish a beautified central public space in the downtown area that is able to host large civic events and provide green space for current and new downtown residents, and includes redesigned pathways, amphitheater, lighting and benches, as well as landscaping to create more green space.
“The new City Hall Plaza will be a place where people want to be whether it’s to recreate, to relax or to enjoy cultural events at the new amphitheater,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rick Sullivan. “This green space investment will revitalize the downtown area, and with that revitalization comes growth and opportunity for this generation, and for generations to come.”
“This is terrific news for the city,” said Brockton Mayor Linda M. Balzotti. “It’s part of the work that we’ve been doing together with Governor Patrick and his team over the past four years to build a brighter future for Brockton’s downtown and our community, and I’m very grateful for the Governor’s constant support of so many of the good things we’ve done to move Brockton forward.”
“These funds will help Easton continue to attract businesses who provide good jobs and an additional tax base for the community, contributing more resources to support schools, public safety and local infrastructure,” said Senator Brian A. Joyce.
Following the announcement, the Governor toured Queset Commons and the Ames Shovel Works project in Easton to underscore the importance of public-private partnerships to create economic growth.
Today’s announcements build on the Patrick Administration’s record investments in education, innovation and infrastructure in the region. The modernization of Bridgewater State University’s Conant Building has provided the campus with a state-of-the-art center for STEM education. At Massasoit Community College, Blue Hills Regional Technical School and South Shore Vocational Technical High School, students have new science equipment; and internship programs at Concert Medical in Norwell, Essential Life Solutions and Precision Fabricators, both in Stoughton, are training the Commonwealth’s next generation for the jobs of the innovation economy.
Significant job growth has occurred in the region over past years. The state has trained almost 9,000 workers and job seekers in this region since 2007. WB Mason, the fifth largest office projects dealer in the world has created 50 full time jobs, retained 273 and leveraged $6 million in private investment. Through public-private partnerships, job growth and business expansion has also been seen at STD Med, Inc. in Stoughton, Cape Cod Lumber in Abington, Evans Machine Company in Brockton, AirXchange in Rockland and CheerPack in West Bridgewater.
Last month, Governor Patrick announced $11 million to support the redevelopment of Enterprise Block in downtown Brockton. The project will facilitate the revitalization of the downtown area by bringing in nearly $100 million in public and private investments, retain 219 current positions and create almost 600 new part-time jobs and 36 new full-time positions. Over 300 affordable housing units have been created or preserved, creating over 600 jobs along the way and more than 1,300 building permits have been issued for new homes in this region since 2010. The Southfield Development, formerly the site of the South Weymouth Naval Air Station, will feature 2,855 units of housing and 2 million square feet of commercial and retail space. Conveniently located at the South Weymouth Commuter Rail Station for easy access to Boston, the development will also include more than 1,000 acres of neighborhood parks and dedicated open space, a golf course and recreation complex.
Infrastructure improvements across the Metro South include the Summer Street Bridge connecting Bridgewater and Middleborough, the Route 53 Bridge over Route 3, and the bridge carrying Middle Street over CSX rail lines in Braintree, which have all been replaced. Route 24, spanning Brockton, Bridgewater and Raynham, and on the Canton-Randolph line has been resurfaced and improved. Additionally, the Hansen School in Canton and the Olmstead School in Easton have new sidewalks, crosswalks and wheel chair ramps so students can get to school easily and safely. I-495 in Bridgewater, Raynham, Taunton and Norton is being resurfaced, drainage structures are being repaired, and streetscape improvements in Randolph are bringing economic activity to the North Randolph Business District.
Tuesday’s announcements are part of a series of events the Governor is holding throughout the Fall to demonstrate the types of investments his Administration is making in every region of the Commonwealth to expand growth and opportunity to all of our residents.