The Boston Sun reports state health officials planning the move of Shattuck Hospital's in-patient wards to a new facility in the South End have rejected calls by the Emerald Necklace Conservancy to just tear the entire place down so it can revert to parkland.
Earlier this month, the Conservancy called for the state to put the hospital's remaining outpatient services - and "supportive housing" being planned for the site - at the MBTA's nearby Arborway yards, which the conservancy says would make better use of underutilized land there while letting Franklin Park expand to its original borders. The MBTA once proposed carving off eight acres of the 18-acre site for housing and parkland, but shelved the plans because of the cost of rebuilding the remaining land to serve as a more modern bus facility.
The Sun reports that Lauren Peters, assistant state secretary for health and human services, told South End residents that the land, when coupled with Boston's efforts to re-open Long Island, present a golden opportunity to provide services to fight addiction and that there's no way her department will agree to calls by the Emerald Necklace Conservancy to return the site to Franklin Park.
In any case, the state says a law passed in 1949 and still in effect requires the land only be used for "public health" purposes. The state has hired a consultant to figure out exactly what to do with the Shattuck land; a report is due out in June.
The state expects to move current Shattuck programs and patients to the South End in 2021.