The Boys and Girls Club of Dorchester (BGCD) Field House project on Mt. Vernon Street has become a contentious issue because of the lack of transparency in the process, and because the community’s concerns were ignored. The McCormack’s staff and students, and Harbor Point residents, don’t hate the BGCD, nor do they hate field houses, nor do they have a political agenda.
The staff and students at the McCormack were completely unaware of the process until a decision had been made and the deal was finalized. In terms of stakeholders, they are clearly most significant, and yet their participation was an afterthought. And when the community was presented with the plan - already approved at the time - many people did not support it.
Blame does not rest on the BGCD; blame should not be on the proponents of the field house, either. Blame must rest on the diseased state of development in the city. There is rarely transparency in the process of development, and residents don’t know that they should be concerned until it’s too late. The system requires an overhaul: We need transparency, and development must be socially responsible, one aspect of that being including all stakeholders from the start.