The East Boston Ecumenical Community Council (EBECC), one of East Boston’s oldest social service agencies, announced last week that the nonprofit has officially moved into its new office space at the former Meridian Street Library at 282 Meridian St.
The historic Greek-Revival building that served as Eastie’s public library branch for decades closed nearly a decade ago when the Boston Public Library consolidated the two neighborhood branches into the Bremen Street branch.
EBECC Executive Director Frank Ramirez said the move will allow the EBECC to expand its comprehensive multi services programs to best serve the community. The agency officially moved on Monday, Jan. 13.
“The historic stone and brick structure, which has undergone extensive interior renovation, is providing much needed space for EBECC offices and programs,” said Ramirez. “Aside from the EBECC the new tenants of the building represent important sectors of the East Boston nonprofit community. The new space will allow EBECC to increase significantly the number and diversity of clients it serves as well as expand its programs. In addition, the new space provides a positive atmosphere for our clients.”
Ramirez added that relocating the EBECC to the former library will allow the EBECC to forge a stronger partnership with the building’s other tenants; the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center; Urban College and the Veronica Robles Cultural Center.
“Together we will create ‘one-stop-shop’ access to wellness services. adult education, cultural programming, youth development, immigration assistance and much more,” said Ramirez. EBECC was founded in 1978 to promote racial harmony and promote the advancement of Latino immigrants of all ages through education, services, advocacy, community organizing, and leadership development. Ramirez explained that the building is important to EBECC’s mission because demand and need for these services are growing as well as wait lists for these crucial programs.
In 2016 the East Boston Community Development Corporation (CDC) partnered with the EBECC to renovate the former library and were named ‘designated developers’ by the City’s Department of Neighborhood Development.
Building tenants plan to offer various programs in the renovated spaces,
Over the next several months the Health Center will house its Let’s Get Movin Program that helps young people that are clinically obese get healthy through nutrition, exercise and other activities at the former library. This program will include a test kitchen with programs and cooking classes open to the public.
Urban College of Boston, an independent, co-educational two-year institution will offer programs of study leading to the Associate of Arts degree in Early Childhood Education, Human Services Administration and General Studies. UCB also offers a range of certificate programs and continuing education courses.
Lastly the Veronica Robles Cultural Center plans to have a multicultural art and dance studio. Her programs would include community celebrations, salsa and other dance classes, cultural cooking events and other showcases and parties that would welcome and encourage the entire Eastie community to take part.