Demolition of fitness center at odds with public health
It is ironic that Mayor Menino and Barbara Ferrer of the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) are promoting a city-wide campaign encouraging Bostonians to shed collectively 1 million pounds over the next year (Boston Globe, April 23, 2012) at the same time that the BPHC is planning to demolish the South End Fitness Center (SEFC) to make way for luxury apartments at the hands of its commissioned developer, Trinity Financial, LLC.
The SEFC, with its full size indoor basketball gym and pool has served the South End and Worcester Square neighborhoods with an affordable fitness center, gym and pool for over 30 years. It is a publicly owned gym that is operated by the BPHC and provides fitness opportunities at a low cost to over 1,200 members of the South End, Lower Roxbury, Boston University Medical, Dental, Public Health and Boston Medical Center communities.
Trinity Financial’s current plan involves the elimination of the SEFC, its gym, and pool, which Trinity plans to replace with a luxury high rise development with the blessing of the BPHC. Now is not the time to eliminate affordable fitness opportunities for Bostonians, I urge the Mayor and Ms. Ferrer to reconsider their plans for the SEFC if they truly embrace fitness for city dwellers. I encourage those interested to visit Facebook "Save South End Fitness Center" for details.
Robert W. Simms, M.D.
Professor of Medicine
Rheumatology Section Head
Boston University School of Medicine