Rebuild Springfield

WAMC

People in Springfield, Massachusetts reflected Sunday on the third anniversary of the tornado that left a major scar on the city.   While officials say they are proud of the recovery process, they acknowledge more work is ahead. 

New homes are under construction in the low-income Maple High-Six Corners neighborhood in keeping with a master plan painstakingly put together in the months after the June 1, 2011 tornado. A new elementary school is under construction to replace one destroyed by the storm. Thousands of new trees have been planted.

WAMC

Sunday marks the third anniversary of the most powerful storm to strike Massachusetts in a half-century, an EF-3 rated tornado that killed three people, injured dozens more, and damaged or destroyed 2,000 buildings between Springfield and Sturbridge.  Rebuilding in the city of Springfield has been aided by about $100 million in federal and state funds.

Rebuilding Together

Rebuilding Together, a national non-profit that works to preserve affordable housing, has announced a multi-year effort in Springfield, Massachusetts to repair hundreds of homes in one of the poorest neighborhoods in America.   The work in the Old Hill Neighborhood started with the successful rehab of 25 homes on a single day last year.   WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with Rebuilding Together Springfield Executive Director Colleen Loveless.

WAMC

A community partnership is promoting an old business model – the worker- owned cooperative – as a way to revitalize the poorest neighborhoods of Springfield, Massachusetts.

An upholstery shop on the third floor of a century old factory building in Springfield’s South End neighborhood is the first business venture launched by the Wellspring collaborative.  Formed in 2011 it is a unique partnership of large local employers such as hospitals and universities, community groups, labor organizations, nonprofits and government agencies.

WAMC

Top executives from a Chinese rail car company who are considering building a $30 million factory in Springfield, Massachusetts got a look today at where their future employees might come from.  Springfield Public School officials and workforce development specialists have proposed a program to train workers to meet the company’s needs.

WAMC

Officials with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development have approved plans by the city of Springfield, Massachusetts to spend $13 million on redeveloping an impoverished area of the city damaged by June 1,2011 tornado. 

Damaged and blighted buildings will be torn down, streets and sidewalks repaved, new houses built, a park and other public properties improved in Maple High-Six Corners, a low income neighborhood still struggling to recover from the historic 2011 storm.

Officials in Springfield, Massachusetts have produced a plan for spending millions of dollars in federal disaster recovery funds.  It is the latest step in a long road to recovery from the June 1st,2011 tornado.

   Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno outlined at a city hall news conference Wednesday what he called an action plan for spending more than $13 million to build new housing, repair streets and sidewalks, remove blight, construct a new school and refurbish a park in neighborhoods devastated by the worst tornado Massachusetts has experienced in a half-century.

WAMC

A massive housing renovation project will take place this Saturday in one of the poorest neighborhoods in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  A thousand volunteers will pack two contiguous streets  in Springfield’s Old Hill neighborhood and do major repair  work on more than two dozen homes..

   Carol Granado is excited about the work planned on her home at 163 Tyler Street that will include a new roof, exterior painting, new bathroom plumbing and three new windows.

WAMC

The  U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded more than $21 million to the city of Springfield Massachusetts to help it recover from the June 2011 tornado. 

   Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno said the money will fund specific projects detailed in the tornado recovery master plan the city produced last year.

WAMC

Anti poverty activists want more housing for the poor in Springfield Massachusetts. The comprehensive master plan for rebuilding from the tornado does not call for more affordable housing to be built.  WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports..