Newton residents could get a new outdoor space, a pavilion at Cabot Park

While people have always enjoyed playing, picnicking, and hiking outdoors, the COVID pandemic has prompted schools and municipalities to get creative with organizing a wider variety of outdoor activities. the outside.

For example, city workers erected temporary tents in schools where classes were held, opening up new possibilities.

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If plans go ahead, residents will be able to enjoy another outdoor facility, with the construction of a new structure and a permanent multi-purpose pavilion at Cabot Parkall without paying a penny for labor.

“I thought it would be a good fit,” said Newton resident Paul Hajian, responsible for Massachusetts College of Art + Design Graduate Architecture Programduring a recent interview.

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There has been an “explosion” of outdoor activities “which can only be living money to be locked away” in recent years, he said.

Hajian recently spoke with the Parks and Recreation Commission to work with the school Community Building Studio, in order to create the structure in the park. It would be a win-win project, since Masters level students would learn to navigate by working with a city and Newton would gain another activity space.

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If approved, Masters level students:

  • Facilitate project meetings with community members
  • Interact with each of the city’s services
  • Present the designs developed for the project
  • Complete construction for free by mid-August.

The city looks to the future

Although the project is still in the feasibility phase, efforts are underway to make it a reality.

“The project must undergo public consultation and a public hearing by the Parks and Recreation Commission in order to move forward,” said Nicole Banks, Commissioner of Newton Parks, Leisure and Culture. “It is the objective, if approval is granted, that the project will be completed by the end of August [2022].”

Students from MassArt's Community Build Studio built landscaping, a new seating area and a truss structure at the entrance to Cambridge Friends School, using concrete, planting, timber framing with steel connectors .

Although no definitive location on Cabot Park has been chosen, “it is likely that it would be located near or just behind the country house so that it would not interfere with other park activities”, Banks said.

Funds have been set aside for park improvements as part of the Cabot School construction project.

“Until the plans for the project move forward, we won’t have a final budget, but this project is expected to cost around $50,000,” Banks said.

As for the next steps, she said: “We will definitely come back before the [Parks & Recreation] Commission with this project, after holding community input meetings. »