Charlesview Unveils New Community Center Cornerstone: Center to offer more programming for the community

February 1, 2013 at 8:00 am

Charlesview, Inc., the nonprofit organization co-developing new apartments in Brighton Mills to replace the aging apartment complex on Western Ave., unveiled the cornerstone for the Josephine A. Fiorentino Community Center last week.

Members of the Charlesview Board of Directors, their development partner The Community Builders, City of Boston and Harvard representatives, and Allston residents together celebrated the coming community space.

Envisioned as the new complex’s community hub, the Center promises expanded programming opportunities for Charlesview and local residents.

The Center was dedicated to honor Allston resident Josephine A. Fiorentino, a founder of Charlesview, Inc., a long-time board president, a champion of the redevelopment project. Fiorentino worked to enhance and preserve the Charlesview community for residents.

The Center will build on more than 40 years of community programming at the current Charlesview Apartments on Western Ave. It features a computer room, classrooms, community meeting rooms, outdoor play areas and an array of programs available to residents of the entire Allston-Brighton community.

According to Mary Helen Black, senior associate director of community programming at Harvard Public Affairs & Communications, who serves on a committee focused on the center’s outreach and programming, the facility presents opportunities to expand Harvard’s community programs in collaboration with Charlesview. Areas of focus include workforce development, the Harvard Allston Education Portal mentoring program, homework help, as well as scholarships for children.

The new Charlesview Residences at Brighton Mills on Western Ave., expected to open in early summer, will include 240 units of rental housing for Charlesview residents, retail space, and a park, as well as additional mixed-income rental and homeownership units in a second phase. The existing Charlesview Apartments site is slated for institutional development by Harvard.