Powers, Keefe on board with potential use
By Cary Shuman
Will Goldenheim is the founding executive director of the North Shore Maritime Center, a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide access to sports on the water and education to local communities. He is also the head coach of the St. Mary’s High School crew team.
Goldenheim, a former member of the Brown University crew team, visited Revere to scout out locations for his newly founded maritime center. He reached out to then-Council President Patrick Keefe, who for several years has been seeking to make the Riverside waterfront area (the Thayer Area boatyard) a site for family recreational opportunities such as canoeing, kayaking, and paddle boating.
“The conversations with the city are really around having the North Shore Maritime Center operate a community program out of that site,” said Goldenheim. “The plan is that St. Mary’s High School will also practice out of that site as well.”
With the Planning Board’s approval of the Riverside Master Plan Feb. 9, the day of a community boating center in Revere next to Gibson Park may not be that far off. Knowing the industrious Revere High School Director of Athletics Frank Shea, he’s probably already considering the prospect of adding a varsity crew team to his winning athletic program.
Keefe, the Ward 4 city councilor, and John Powers, the Ward 5 city councilor, are on board with the community boating proposal.
“That area off of the Pines River would be an ideal space to have a training area for crew teams,” said Keefe. “Now that there is a plan to revitalize that area, creating community rowing would be perfect.”
Keefe said activating the waterfront for more uses “is a definitely a must.”
“We have an unbelievable opportunity. We’re on the water so the more we can offer and have for our residents and visitors the better that our community would become,” said Keefe.
Powers, who has also been advancing the use of the area to complement the recreational offerings at Gibson Park, can also see a Revere High crew team in the city’s future. Powers has been monitoring the site and has followed through with requests for cleanups of the site.
“Being that the property abuts Gibson Park, I’d like to see it turned into a community boating center,” said Powers. “Let’s make it one huge recreational complex.”
Powers has also done his research on collegiate rowing programs, uncovering the fact that there are more than 150 colleges that field rowing teams.
“There are a lot of college scholarships given to students who compete in crew,” said Powers. “I foresee the day when Revere High athletes will earn those scholarships. That’s what I’m looking forward to.”
Meanwhile, Goldenheim will begin North Shore Maritime Center operations with learn-to-row programs on the Saugus River and, if the program does move to Revere, will expand to include programming for students and adults on both the Pines and Saugus Rivers.