Massachusetts School Building Authority Approves Next Steps in Boston Public School Improvement Projects

Rendering of Boston Arts Academy

BOSTON – Wednesday, December 13, 2017 – As part of the Walsh Administration’s commitment to improve schools, Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced a set of milestones reached in the improvements being made to three schools in the Boston Public School system. The three schools include: Carter School, Boston Arts Academy and the Josiah Quincy Upper School.

The Walsh Administration has put a renewed focus on maximizing the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) as a resource for improving facilities. Since 2014, the City has secured funding for 12 repair projects throughout the District, with six more projects going into construction in the summer of 2018 and 2019. This in addition to moving forward with the Dearborn STEM Academy in Roxbury. Including today’s action by the MSBA Board, the City has been approved for grants totaling up to $112 million since 2014.

“It’s important that we provide the best education for our students, in the best learning environment,” said Mayor Walsh. “These steps taken by the MSBA are significant in ensuring that we are able to update and modernize school facilities for the benefit of our students and educators. I thank the Board for their votes, and look forward to moving forward with these projects to create 21st century learning environments for all of our students.”

As a result of approval from a MSBA Board vote, the Boston Arts Academy (BAA) is able to move forward with setting the scope, schedule and cost for a new school, marking a major milestone in the MSBA process. The City will receive upwards of $48 million in reimbursement from the state for the $124 million project. The new facility is designed to accommodate 500 students in academics and five arts majors, including: theatre, dance, music, design and visual communications (visual arts) and fashion technology.

In addition to the typical classrooms and science labs required at any high school, the new BAA will feature a 500-seat auditorium/theater space with proscenium stage and scene shop, a 200 seat black box theater, four new dance studios, visual arts studios, a recording studio, choral room and a 150 seat recital/lecture hall.

Other projects that received approval as part of the MSBA vote include the Carter School, which was approved to be invited into an Eligibility Period, the first step in the MSBA construction process to determine preliminary requirements and eligibility. The Josiah Quincy Upper School will move forward with the extension of a feasibility study to allow the City and MSBA the ability to continue collaborative efforts in determining potential locations for the new school facility.

“Improvement projects like these make an important difference in our students’ lives by providing them 21st century learning environments where their minds and dreams can flourish,” said BPS Superintendent Tommy Chang. “I am grateful to the MSBA for its support of our efforts to create world-class facilities, and bring our BuildBPS framework to life in classrooms across the city.”

Earlier this year, Mayor Walsh announced a $1 billion commitment to improve Boston’s school buildings through BuildBPS, a ten-year Educational and Facilities Master Plan for Boston Public Schools. Mayor Walsh also committed $13 million in near term investments for schools across the district through the creation of the 21st Century Schools Fund.

In addition, the Dearborn STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Academy, a $73 million construction project to create a four-story, 128,000 square foot state-of-the-art learning facility ideal for 21st century, will open to students in September of 2018. The project is being reimbursed $37 million by the MSBA.

Earlier this year, Mayor Walsh announced $9 million of investments for roof and boiler replacements at five schools, including Boston Latin School, James F. Condon Elementary in South Boston, John W. McCormack Middle School in Dorchester, Paul A. Dever Elementary School in Dorchester and the William E. Channing Elementary School in Hyde Park. The roof and boiler replacement project leverages nearly $6.1 million in MSBA Accelerated Repair Program, which is focused on performing energy-efficient and cost-saving upgrades, and will result in direct operational savings for the school district.

Last year, Mayor Walsh invested $25.1 million for door and window replacement at seven schools, which included construction grants up to $16.4 million from the MSBA Accelerated Repair Program. This project enabled for nearly 3,000 windows to be replaced at these schools.

For more information on BuildBPS, please visit here.

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