Skip to main content

Arthur D. Healey Schoolyard Renovation

When complete, the renovation will include a new schoolyard, a new U-12 soccer field, and an ADA-accessible pathway between the schoolyard and the Mystic Housing Community.

After a one-year COVID-related delay, renovation plans for the Arthur D. Healey Schoolyard are now underway. The Healey Tot Lot construction has started and will be complete by September 2021. 

The much larger Healey Schoolyard renovation is now scheduled to start date is June 21, 2021 ― the first Monday after school gets out on June 17th. The anticipated completion of the schoolyard, soccer field and ADA ramp is June 2022.


Existing Schoolyard


Aerial view of the Healey Schoolyard

The Healey School, at 5 Meacham Street, is located atop a bluff overlooking the Mystic River, interstate 93 and the surrounding community. It provides recreation and play activities for student’s pre-K to 8th grade, and the surrounding community during non-school hours. 

The existing Healey schoolyard is an approximately 65,000 square foot asphalt space with basketball and other court games. To the east and directly adjacent to the schoolyard is a steep slope which acts as a physical barrier between the school and the Mystic Housing Community.

Street hockey and world map features at Healey Schoolyard     Healey Schoolyard basketball courts

Healey Schoolyard tennis court     Nighttime view of Healey Schoolyard


Renovation Background


Healey Schoolyard overall site plan

2016 - Fields Master Plan: The City’s Fields Master Plan documented a severe shortage of City-owned recreation fields, restricting athletic recreational opportunities for City youth and residents. The Fields Master Plan identified the Healey Schoolyard property as a good site for a new U12 synthetic turf athletic field.

2017 - Healey Mystic Master Plan: The Friends of the Healey were awarded Community Preservation Act (CPA) funds to develop the Healey Mystic Master Plan as a vision for the transformation of the Healey Schoolyard and surrounding neighborhood. Many of the goals included in that plan are now being adopted for the new Healey Schoolyard renovation.

2018 - Schoolyard Design funds: The Somerville Community Preservation Committee awarded Community Preservation Act (CPA) funds for the development of the design of the new schoolyard.

2018 - Healey Geotech Work: The City conducted a Topographic Survey, Geotechnical survey, and Boring Analysis of the schoolyards subsurface conditions to determine the feasibility of making renovation that could include a new soccer field.

2019 - Additional Design funds: Additional funds needed for the design of the Soccer field were approved by the City Council.

2019 – Design Plans: Warner Larson Associates was selected as the Landscape Architecture team for the project.

2019 – 2 to 5 Playground Improvements: The Playground at the side of the school was updated with new features making it safer and more interesting for the young children who use it. Additional changes including a new rubber safety surface will be incorporated as part of the larger schoolyard renovation.

2020 – January Funding Approval: The Somerville City Council approves the funding needed to construct the new Healey Schoolyard.

2020 – February: The COVID Pandemic causes a one year delay in construction

2020 – July: The Friends Of Healey in Partnership with the Department of Public Space and Urban Forestry apply for and are awarded Community Preservation Act (CPA) funds to renovate the Healey Tot Lot as a stand-alone project.

2021 – February: The Mayor’s Office and the City Council, supported by the advocacy of Ward 4 City Councilor Jesse Clingan, agree to restart the Healey Construction process. The City and Landscape Architects update the plans prior to putting the project out to bid.  The Tot Lot is put out to bid as a separate project. It is agreed that the new name will be the Healey Community Play Area.

2021 – March-April: The City and Landscape Architects complete the construction drawing and specifications and put the project out to bid. The Tot Lot project is awarded to Belko Construction

2021 – May: The Healey Schoolyard renovation contract is awarded to Classic Site Solutions.  The Tot- Lot renovation begins, with completion expected by September.

2021 – June: The schoolyard construction starts June 21.

Community Process

  • Five Community Meetings held at the Healey School and Mystic Housing. Presentations and notes from those meetings are available in the Past Events menu.
  • Four Targeted Outreach Meetings including Two Healey School Open Houses, a Mystic Tenants Association Meeting, and the Mystic Housing Picnic.
  • Four Meetings with Healey School Teachers and Administrators.
  • One meeting with a group of Healey School Students.
  • Online Survey (in four Languages), 133 respondents.



To sign up for project updates or for more information, please contact Arn Franzen at 617-625-6600 ext. 2545, or e-mail


Past Events


October 7, 2021 Healey Community Playground Ribbon Cutting (Formerly known as the Tot-Lot)

June 7, 2021 Healey Schoolyard Renovation Groundbreaking

April 27, 2021 Healey Tot Lot Groundbreaking Ceremony

April 15, 2021 Community Meeting

  • Flyer
  • Presentation Slides (The estimated completion dates included here have been revised. Due to significant COVID related manufacturing delays, the estimated completion of the Schoolyard and the Soccer Field will be June of 2022)

November 7, 2019 Community Meeting

October 10, 2019 Community Meeting

July 9, 2019 Community Meeting

January 10, 2019 Community Meeting


Sign Up for Project Updates


Subscribe to Healey Schoolyard Updates

* indicates required


Construction Updates

  • We have two separate renovations going on at the Healey School this summer (2021). The smaller project is the renovation of the Healey Tot Lot to the West of the school. That renovation will be wrapped up by September.  The larger project including the schoolyard, soccer field, and ADA ramp system, starts June 2021 will not be complete until June 2022.
  • Summer school will be in session at the Healey July 6-Aug 20.  The student drop-off and pick-up will be at the Meacham Street entrance only.
  • There will be a no-parking at the school parking lot throughout the construction, including the summer and fall of 2021. This includes teachers, staff and SHA residents who park there in the evening. (The parking lot is a critical space for site access, construction staging and material stockpiling, and we need to ensure construction site safety.
  • People displaced from the parking lot will need a parking permit to park on City Streets.
  • All construction vehicle access will be through the school parking lot on Meacham Street. Construction traffic will be scheduled to avoid school drop-off and pick-up times as much as possible.
  • Meacham Street will be posted No Parking from Ash Street to the school parking lot.
  • We are limiting all non-construction vehicle access on Meacham Street, from Edger Street to the school parking lot.
  •  Barriers and signage will be in place. 

Healey School Access Maps


Programs & Initiatives

In 2023, the City created the Digital Bridge Initiative (DBI). The goal of the DBI is to support existing programming and to create new initiatives.
Join us to celebrate Somerville’s open spaces, engage with the City outside of formal meetings, and of course – enjoy some pizza.

Please submit website feedback using this form. Be sure to include:

A description of the issue (if any)
A link to the affected pages

Thank you for your feedback!