Wellesley’s 900 Worcester St. Committee held its first meeting for public input on May 9 and has a second meeting slated for Tuesday, May 19 at 7pm at the police station. Request for information (RFI) responses for possible uses of the former St. James the Great property on Rte. 9 East include sports fields, an aquatic facility and ice rinks. The goal for this year is to issue requests for proposals and make decisions on those RFPs that could then be voted on at Town Meeting next year.
As the 900 Worcester St Committee approaches the completion of developing the RFP for soliciting private firms that are interested in developing recreational amenities on the Town’s 900 Worcester St property (formerly St. James the Great), the Committee is seeking resident input on the priorities for the facilities for the site. The priorities will be expressed through a “scoring matrix” that will be used to ultimately select the preferred developer(s) and facilities. Since this recommendation is for a “land lease”, it will then be passed on to the Board of Selectman for their review and approval before proceeding to Town Meeting for final approval.
Each meeting is expected to last not more than 2 hours. The meetings will begin with a brief recap of the project’s history and the Committee’s work to date, and will include an update on the responses received to the Request for Information sent out late last year as well information about the expected contents of the RFP. There are two planned interactive segments with the first seeking to any resident strong concerns and preferences about the site development and the second focusing in on the specifics in the Committee’s draft “scoring matrix”. This feedback is vital to the Committee to help us to obtain the best recreational facilities for the Town.
These meetings are part of the process the Committee has been following since Special Town Meeting approval of the demolition money in November of 2014. The plan is for the RFP to be completed over the next few weeks and distributed at the end of June. The RFP will allow respondents 60 days to prepare and return their responses with an anticipated due date in early September. RFP Respondents will be asked to provide public oral presentations in mid-September to the Committee where residents will be invited to learn about each proposal and ask any questions. Following these presentations, the Committee plans to review each proposal in detail and score each response. The Committee will share its recommendation(s) and solicit input at public meetings later in the fall before finalizing its recommendation to be presented to the Board of Selectman before the end of year holidays. Much more information on the Committee’s process, RFI responses, anticipated RFP contents, etc. is available on the Committee’s website.
We encourage you to come to one of the public meetings to help shape the outcome for this precious “once in a lifetime opportunity”. There will be more public meetings later but this is the time to make our priorities clear so the respondents can give us the best possible facilities.