University Park Overview
Campus Square, known as "Red Square" around campus, is home to many of the activities offered during Clark's free summer-recreation program for children in the neighborhood.
Thanks to generous community grants and successful management by Clark and the Main South Community Development Center, the eight-week recreation program has been offered free of charge to the children of Worcester’s Main South neighborhood since 1996.
Clark faculty and students work alongside neighborhood colleagues as counselors. The children enjoy outdoor and indoor recreational activities including sports, arts and crafts, the computer lab, and swimming and water safety lessons in the University’s pool. The program also includes a community- service component, where children visit a nearby nursing home.
Home to Clark presidents, Harrington House is on Woodland Street, an historic area of the neighborhood lined with beautiful Victorian houses.
Part of the University Park Partnership's mission is to improve the quality of life in Worcester’s Main South neighborhood by encouraging more home ownership and a sense of community. As members of a community where Clark's presidents live side by side with their Main South neighbors, Clark's current President, David Angel, plays an integral part in the neighborhood.
In addition to Clark's president, several Clark faculty and staff live in Main South as well. As part of the partnership's neighborhood revitalization plan, Clark faculty and staff are given opportunities to purchase homes in the neighborhood and receive financial assistance for the first five years of ownership.
Granger Field on Beaver Street, just west of Clark’s campus, is a hub for athletic activity on campus and in the neighborhood thanks to a $7.8-million construction and renovation project that improved Clark's athletic facilities.
The project included the construction of the Dolan Field House and the reconfiguration and reconstruction of the existing soccer/lacrosse, field hockey and baseball fields, as well as the Corash tennis courts.
Reflecting the spirit and mission of the University Park Partnership, there will be no locked fences around these fields. When not in use by Clark's Division III teams or intramural sports programs, Granger Field will also be available to the neighborhood schools for their athletic programs.
University Park Campus School
Just west of Clark's campus on Freeland Street is the University Park Campus School (UPCS), a neighborhood school for 7th to 12th graders created through the University Park Partnership in 1997.
The flagship school was founded with the mission to provide neighborhood children with the highest quality education possible. To help meet that goal as well as strengthen the relationship between the University and the neighborhood, Clark offers UPCS students and other neighborhood area public-school students who excel at their studies and meet the University's admissions requirements, attendance at Clark for four years tuition free.
Together, UPCS, Clark's Jacob Hiatt Center for Urban Education, and the Worcester Education Partnership work in close collaboration to:
- Develop curriculum for UPCS
- Provide enrichment programs and homework support for UPCS students
- Provide UPCS teachers with ongoing teacher training and enrichment at Clark
- Provide teaching opportunities for Clark faculty and graduate students in Clark's urban education program. Several have gone on to work at UPCS as full time teachers
- Provide opportunities for UPCS students to take college-level courses at Clark
UPCS has been recognized as a national model by the Education Trust, the Alliance for Excellent Education, and Newsweek Magazine. All members of its first three graduating classes have gone on to college, each a first-generation college attendee -- an accomplishment that is all the more remarkable given the low academic skills and limited English proficiency of its entering students. The vast majority enter at least two grade levels behind in reading and math; three-quarters of the students qualify for free lunch; two-thirds come from homes where English is not spoken. Today, UPCS attracts so many children from the neighborhood that it has a waiting list.
North of the Clark campus at Kilby, Gardner and Hammond Streets is the site of the University Park Partnership's most recent neighborhood revitalization effort.
The project, a partnership of UPP's community-service arm, the Main South Community Development Corporation, Clark University, and the Boys & Girls Club of Worcester, includes:
- A Boys & Girls Club building that accommodates 400 children and serves up to 5,000 youths
- An athletic field to be used by Clark's teams as well as the children at the Boys & Girls Club
- A gymnasium
- A learning center
- An Olympic-size swimming pool
- Renovated and affordable housing managed and/or offered by the Main South Community Development Corporation
A testament to the relationship between Clark and its neighbors, Clark funded the athletic field construction and the Boys & Girls Club funded construction of its new facility. And no barriers exist between the building and adjacent field. Instead, the club provides opportunities to bring Clark students and athletes and neighborhood children together. For example, Clark athletes tutor and run activities at the club, and children there use the athletics field for their activities when they are not in use for Clark intercollegiate and intramural athletic programs. Learn more about the project on the Main South CDC's Web site.
Main Street is Clark University's central shopping street. Clark students, faculty, staff and our Main South neighbors enjoy restaurants and shops along the street, several of which are run by neighborhood residents.
Thanks to University Park Partnership's commitment to enhancing businesses in the area, the Main South Community Development Corporation has helped administer small-business loans to many neighborhood businesses. The CDC also has provided the funding to update several blocks of neighborhood storefronts along Main Street.
St. Peter's basketball League
St. Peter's Catholic Church, located across the street from Clark's campus on Main Street, is an active member of the University Park Partnership.
Among the church's community activities is a summer basketball league. In collaboration with Clark University, neighborhood children who join the league play basketball in Clark's Kneller Athletic Center and are coached by Clark athletes.
Beacon - Oread Revitalization Project
One of the UPP's recent success stories is the Beacon-Oread Street Revitalization Project located a few miles from campus.
The initiative, one of many that has broken down barriers between the University and the neighborhood, is administered and managed by the Main South Community Development Corporation.
The project targeted a one-block area east of Clark's campus on Beacon and Oread Streets, where the CDC renovated several multiple-family houses to provide affordable rental properties for neighborhood residents. The extensive renovations included both exterior and interior updates, creating parking areas, and increasing green space so that tenants could enjoy a sizeable backyard.