On Monday September 23rd, South Shore Stars, Inc. will celebrate the commencement of their 50th year as well as the completion of exterior renovations of their headquarters, the historic Jefferson School. South Shore Stars acquired the Jefferson School from the Town in 1981 and it has since served as the program’s primary administrative office as well as host to youth programs in Town. Stars, a non-profit organization based out of Weymouth, serves over 1,200 youth annually across the South Shore in programs such as Early Head Start, preschool centers, school age centers, and summer camp.
Stars applied for Community Preservation Act (CPA) funding through the Town’s Community Preservation Committee in the spring of 2018. The application was accompanied by a letter from the Weymouth Historical Commission, supporting the project. The funding provided for de-leading, painting, and a 10% construction management fee for the project oversight provided by NeighborWorks of Southern MA, a non-profit organization that provides housing development and rehab assistance.
The CPC approved the $70,824 funding request at their May 2018 meeting. Additional funding for the project was provided by a Davis Clapp, LLC Grant for $25,000, and $20,000 from the Stars organization itself.
“We are so honored to have been entrusted with this beautiful, historic building, and we are grateful for the leadership of the Town, the Mayor and his planning team who recognized the importance of investing in the former Jefferson School and in Stars’ decades-long commitment to the families of Weymouth,” said Sheri Adlin, Director of South Shore Stars.
The Jefferson School was constructed in 1899 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The architect, Shepard S. Woodcock, designed the building in the Queen Anne style for use as a school and office building. The Jefferson School is notable for its octagonal clock tower topped by a tall dome and clock. The work completed on the building restored the exterior façade through carpentry repairs, de-leading, and finish painting. In addition, the clock within the tower was repaired using the Stars’ contribution toward the project. All repairs were overseen by NeighborWorks and completed in accordance with regulations for lead removal as well as in compliance with all historic requirements.
The ceremony on September 23rd will celebrate the kick-off to South Shore Stars’ 50th anniversary year as well as honor Mayor Hedlund for his commitment to the Town and supporting youth programs. The Stars’ headquarters has a long history of serving youth in Weymouth, primarily as the Jefferson School and later on as the Town’s Educational Center for the Arts and Sciences. South Shore Stars (then South Shore Day Care) acquired the Jefferson School from the Town for $1.00 in 1981. The agreement included a right of first refusal for the Town, so that it may purchase the building back for $1.00 if it were to be sold in the future. Stars has honored the Jefferson Schools’ tradition of educating youth through its programming, directly serving nearly 200 Weymouth youth annually and holding the Weymouth Afterschool Stars at the site.
“The Town is excited to celebrate not only the renovations and improvements completed at this site of great historic significance to the Town, but also to commemorate 50 years of programming provided to thousands of Weymouth youth from an important community partner, South Shore Stars,” said Mayor Hedlund. I am honored to be recognized at this event, but Stars’ programs and staff are truly deserving of recognition for the support they provide Weymouth families, especially those low-income families in town.”
The celebration will begin with a ribbon cutting to commemorate the completion of the historic restoration and then the annual meeting will begin. The Stars’ annual meeting will include a review of the goals of their three-year strategic plan and the presentation of awards.
To learn more about South Shore Stars’ and its programming be sure to visit their website at http://www.southshorestars.org/.
For more information on the Historic sites in Town or the Community Preservation Act, contact the Town’s Planning and Community Development Department at 781-340-5015 or https://www.weymouth.ma.us/planning-community-development.