News & Updates

Bruce C. Bolling Building in Dudley Square Offically Renamed

Apr 07, 2015

Today, Mayor Martin J. Walsh joined Governor Charlie Baker, elected officials, local dignitaries, school representatives, and family members and friends of the late Bruce C. Bolling to officially dedicate the new central offices of the Boston Public Schools in the name of the former city councilor and first African American president of the Boston City Council.

“The Bruce C. Bolling building is designed and dedicated to spreading opportunity and connecting communitya fitting tribute to the man, Bruce Bolling,” said Mayor Walsh. “A true public servant, his guiding principle was equity: whether in housing, economic development, or education. He believed no one should be left out of the American Dream, and he dedicated his career to making that promise a reality.”

“Bruce Bolling championed civic engagement and economic development for Roxbury and all of Boston, reflecting on Massachusetts’ role as a national leader in equality and economic opportunity for all,” said Governor Baker. “As a home to the schools that shaped and defined his character, the Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building will honor his legacy and the neighborhood and city he dedicated himself to serving.”

“This dedication is a fitting tribute to Bruce Bolling, who was a true champion for his constituents, always making sure that they had a voice in the community. Bruce’s leadership in affordable housing initiatives and job creation made a tangible difference in the fabric of the City he loved and I am honored to help celebrate his legacy,” stated Congressman Capuano.

“One of my favorite Bruce Bolling campaign themes was‘nothing counts like results.’ We have come together at just the right time; a time of crossroads, growth and revitalization for Dudley Square and Roxbury to celebrate a pragmatic idealist, a trailblazer, a visionary, a son, a brother, a husband, a father, a statesman, a doer. It gives my spirit great uplift to know this municipal building will stand as a permanent tribute to Bruce C. Bolling. Let this building serve as both a reminder and a challenge to us all to carry on the fight for fairness and justice that Bruce dedicated his life to,” said Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley.

“It was an honor for me to participate in the program naming the building after Bruce Bolling. I congratulate Mayor Marty Walsh for supporting the naming of this building after my friend and colleague,”  said Boston City Councilor Charles Yancey.

"In the true spirit of Councilor Bolling, this building will serve as a lightning rod to spur innovation and education for the residents of Roxbury, and the City of Boston as a whole," said Boston City Councilor Tito Jackson.

"We are honored that the administrative offices of the Boston Public Schools are located in the Bruce C. Bolling Building. It will allow us to be closer to our schools and the students we serve," stated Interim Superintendent John McDonough. "Named in honor of a man who tirelessly worked to expand opportunities for the people of Boston, this building will now be ground zero for innovation and excellence in education for all of Boston's children."

“This is a great honor for our family and we thank Mayor Walsh for honoring the spirit of Bruce's legacy with the naming of this beautiful building,” said Royal Bolling Jr. “We also see it as a symbol of investment in this community and as a catalyst for attracting future development opportunities that continue  to build our community and expand and maximize opportunities for its residents. That was the true spirit of Bruce’s legacy, which is honored here today.”

About Bruce C. Bolling

Bruce C. Bolling was elected to the Boston City Council in 1981 and was elected Boston’s first African-American president of the City Council in 1986. During his 12 years on the Council, Bolling advocated for economic opportunities for women, people of color, and small business owners, and was a champion of the LGBT community. He was a forward-thinking and consensus-building leader whose work on diversity, economic development, and workforce equity continue to have an impact today.

Among Bolling’s many policy accomplishments was the establishment of the Boston Jobs for Boston Residents policy, mandating that city residents receive 50% of jobs created by city funds, with 25% of the jobs earmarked for minorities, and 10% for women. Bolling’s work also led to the establishment of the Boston Fair Housing Commission, a city commission that addresses discriminatory housing practices.

Bolling advocated for development policies to grow affordable housing and lead to neighborhood investment. He developed the Boston Linkage Policy, which requires that downtown developers also contribute to development in Boston’s neighborhoods, guaranteeing that downtown investment generates positive impacts for the rest of the city. He also established the Neighborhood Housing Trust Fund, which contributes to the development of affordable housing across the city.

After leaving City Council, Bolling helped to create the Massachusetts Alliance for Small Contractors, and served as Executive Director until 2011. Bolling came from a family of elected officials, including his father who served as a state senator and his brother who served as a state representative. Bolling died in 2012.

About the Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building

The construction of the Bruce C. Bolling Building is a collaboration of Boston's Property and Construction Management Department (PCMD), the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA), and the City of Boston under the leadership of Mayor Walsh. The building was designed by Mecanoo and Sasaki Associates. Shawmut Design and Construction served as the CM at-Risk contractor, with project management services being handled by PMA Consultants.

The six-story, 215,000-square-foot structure is the headquarters of Boston Public Schools (BPS), centralizing 500 administrative staff while improving organizational synergy and public service. The building also includes 18,000 square feet of street-level space for business or nonprofit use, and the Roxbury Innovation Center, a 3,000-square-foot business incubator to encourage collaboration, bold thinking, and new business development.

Photos are courtesy of Mark Pijanowski and the Boston Public Schools.

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