One of the University Park Partnership’s most ambitious initiatives was the Gardner-Kilby-Hammond Street Revitalization Project, which transformed one of the most distressed areas of the neighborhood back into a thriving community.
A unique collaboration among the Main South Community Development Corporation, Clark University, the Boys and Girls Club, and the city of Worcester, this project involved extensive land acquisition, remediation of industrial brownfield sites, and demolition of old facilities.
This $40-million initiative included:
- Approximately 60 new homeownership opportunities and affordable rental properties managed and/or offered by the Main South CDC.
- A new $8 million Boys and Girls Club to serve children in Main South. The new building, which accommodates 400 children and serves up to 5,000 young people, includes a gymnasium, learning center, and Olympic-size swimming pool.
- New athletic fields, which are used by Clark’s intercollegiate and intramural teams, the Boys and Girls Club, and the community.
- A Center for Community Revitalization that serves the area.
The partnership between Clark and the Boys and Girls Club has provided opportunities to bring together Clark students and neighborhood children as part of the University Park Partnership’s goal to keep children and teens active in educational and recreational activities throughout the year.
Clark welcomes neighborhood residents and their children onto the University campus. Residents attend a wide variety of events at Clark and enjoy the University’s facilities and quiet, green spaces.
- A free summer recreation program, serving more than 150 neighborhood children, is held on the Clark campus every year. Clark staff coordinate the program, Clark students serve as counselors, and University Park Campus School students serve as junior counselors.
- A free music program offered through Clark and run by a Clark faculty member offers instrument lessons to neighborhood children. Clark students also help with this program.
- In addition to attending campus events, most of which are free, neighborhood residents use the Goddard Library and Kneller Athletic Center.
- A church basketball league, supported by Clark, serves more than 500 area children, including approximately 200 from the Main South neighborhood.