As Director of the State’s Recovery Office, I have visited well over one hundred different ARRA-funded projects over the past three years ranging from multimillion dollar research ventures that push the boundaries of current technologies, to the local development projects and renovations that make all the difference to a community.
Many times these local projects are eclipsed by the more costly and innovative projects. Yet in addition to important jobs they provide so much more to a community. Recently, along with Lt. Governor Murray, I attended the celebration of the stimulus-funded installation of energy efficiency improvements to the Emmons Horrigan O’Neil Memorial Rink in Charlestown. We discussed the major impact that the rink has had on the community and how these improvements will continue that positive influence.
It’s not just the fact that the energy efficient ceilings save 25-40% on the $142,000 average energy bill each year, or that the decrease in temperature, made possible by the new ceilings, will help to keep the ice crisp and solid to intensify the skating experience.
As important, the updated facility will impact the community long after the job is completed by providing a place for kids to learn teamwork and perseverance through team sports as well as a space for families to come together and enjoy themselves.
The Charlestown rink isn’t the only facility that DCR is renovating either. Skating rinks in Dorchester, Hyde Park, South Boston, and Weymouth will receive the same treatment.
The first goal of ARRA is to put people back to work by creating new jobs and developing lasting industries to further perpetuate employment. I believe that the impact that these projects have on the surrounding communities is an equally important role of the stimulus program and I am glad to be a part of it.