Roxbury, MA 2021 is ushering in the next generation, and a major building transformation for a local community outreach organization. Sociedad Latina is a local non-profit organization and an integral part of the community. They serve 5,000 youth and adults each year by offering integrated programs focused on education, workforce development, civic engagement, and arts and culture.
“We were established in 1968 in South Boston, and the organization was more of a sports club for newly arrived Latinas and Latinos in Boston to come together and celebrate their culture,” said Maria Grande, director of development for Sociedad Latina. “We moved to Mission Hill in the 1980’s and that’s when we really re-focused our attention on youth and families.”
As time progressed, the city transformed bringing new challenges and unique opportunities.
“The renovation came because more luxury apartments were being built and more restaurants put in that were taking away from the culture and essence of the community and we really wanted to remain a pillar in the neighborhood and be a place people could come and celebrate their heritage,” Grande said. “We had the really great pleasure of our landlord selling us our building. It was great because we were able to stay in our community and it allowed us to look at the building we’ve called home for so long and how we could enhance it and our organization to better serve and engage with the community more deeply.”
Ushering in the building transformation is The Haynes Group, a local full-service commercial construction company serving Eastern New England, known for their unique process of blending personalized service and relationship building. This project had a special impact on the construction team.
“To me, this project had a special impact because we were not just renovating a building, we were giving back life to space that impacts the community in such a special way,” said Emily Bozek, project manager at Haynes Group. “My hope is that every person that walks through those doors feels the care that the Haynes Group team put into this build.”
“We were just really excited that we’d be able to have a better equipped home,” Grande said. “We moved in, in the ‘80’s, but this building has been around for a very long time.”
The historical aspect and location of the building posed unique, and anticipated challenges, for Haynes Group.
“There were a lot of structural challenges we faced on this project,” said Stephen Perry, site superintendent at Haynes Group. “With little space to work, and shoring installed throughout the building, our team carefully maneuvered the workspaces and continuously thought outside the box to achieve our goals.”
“As with many buildings in Boston, logistics were a problem,” Bozek said. “Between deliveries, parking, dumpster permits and laydown space, our team consistently came up with creative solutions for what seemed to be impossible situations.”
Haynes Group puts a big focus on building strong relationships with all project teammates, and it consistently remains their favorite part of any project.
“My favorite part of this project was working with such a great team. Between Studio Luz Architects, the OPM, the Sociedad Latina team, and our team, we were able to work through unforeseen issues collectively to find solutions,” Bozek said. “Some of these old buildings have their challenges and when you have a team prepared to attack the problem, it makes all the difference.”
“The team was really great because there was a lot of communication and we worked together through the entire process. It really was a collaborative effort and that’s something that’s so important to us.” Grande said. “We’re celebrating our 50th anniversary, now we can also celebrate our beautiful new building.”
Sociedad Latina will be celebrating their new building with a re-opening event on September 14th, which will coincide with Latino Heritage Month. This will be the first time they will be open to the public.
The project team included:
- Haynes Group - Construction Manager
- A.T. Masonry, LLC - Masonry
- Integra Network Services - Cabling, A/V & IT Install
- ABA Fire Protection Co., Inc - Fire Protection
- Tripi Engineering Services, LLC - Engineering
- Suburban Electric Contracting Inc - Electrical