UMass Boston Celebrates Groundbreaking of Monan Park, a Fenway for Columbia Point
Student athletes, alumni, and community members from UMass Boston and Boston College High School broke ground Thursday on a shared baseball complex that will feature a replica Green Monster and a 500-seat field with the same dimensions as Fenway Park.
J. Donald Monan, SJ Park will be located on the BC High campus, on the site of its current diamond. The main field meets Division III standards and will allow the UMass Boston Beacons to play their games closer to home, after previously playing its home games at Campanelli Stadium in Brockton.
“You see what sport can do to bring communities together today,” Chancellor J. Keith Motley said in his remarks. “It makes sense for the University of Massachusetts Boston and Boston College High School to come together on a project named after a man who gave so much to the city of Boston.”
The park’s namesake, Fr. J. Donald Monan, was president of Boston College for 24 years and currently serves as its chancellor.
“My hope is that the sound of the bat that’s so irresistible to us at Fenway Park will echo through this field,” Monan said, adding, “I look forward to throwing out the first ball,” to the delight of the crowd.
The collaboration between BC High and UMass Boston is the result of a public-private partnership, anchored by a $2 million commitment from the Yawkey Foundation.
“The UMass Boston Beacons baseball team went 23-15 this year and has consistently been a leader in their conference without having a home field to play on. That will change next season,” said Yawkey Foundation President Jim Healey, a statement that also drew cheers from the crowd.
The Monan Park complex will also include a secondary playing field and a full-sized soccer field. The park is expected to open for the spring 2016 season.
Corporate sponsors for the Monan Park project are WB Mason, Rockland Trust, Lambert's, McGee Toyota, and Prime Time Sports.
“Just imagine what the future will hold for our institutions once Monan Park is complete,” Motley said.
Construction on Monan Park, which begins this summer, is scheduled to be finished by December 1.