BPS invests more than $10 million in building upgrades in preparation for start of school year
BOSTON – Next week students will find more than $10 million of renovations and upgrades across the Boston Public Schools as students prepare to head back to school. Construction crews from the BPS Facilities Department are working around-the-clock to finish the work so schools are ready when teachers return on Tuesday. Classes begin Wednesday, September 4.
“Providing spaces that are eco-friendly, welcoming, safe and state-of-the-art is an important part of supporting academic excellence for all students,” said BPS interim Superintendent John McDonough. “Teams from our facilities department are working around the clock to make sure every school is ready to go when students return from summer break.”
BPS is spending $1 million this year repainting schools across the city – with the most ambitious painting project underway at East Boston High School. The District is also installing new science labs at Boston Community Leadership Academy in Hyde Park. Brighton High School is receiving a new cafeteria floor and at the Carter Development Center in the South End, crews are racing to install a new heating and cooling system in the short time period between the end of summer school and the start of the school year in September. Students at TechBoston Academy In Dorchester will spend the year learning beneath a completely new roof, which will lower energy costs by improving insulation. At the Trotter Elementary School in Dorchester, crews are replacing the roof and restoring exterior masonry – which will decrease water infiltration and dramatically improve energy efficiency.
In addition, BPS is investing $1.4 million this year in security upgrades at 26 schools — including key card access, video cameras and public address systems.
The City’s Property and Construction Management Department is also upgrading several schools. Work is ongoing atCharlestown High School on a $30 million renovation with new heating and ventilation systems, restrooms, energy-efficient lighting, fire protection and other improvements. The work will result in energy savings of 20 percent. Near downtown, nine new temporary classrooms are ready to accommodate the Eliot K-8 School’s expansion at 585 Commercial Street, a building recently purchased by the City.
Students and staff at the Higginson/Lewis K-8 School in Roxbury, the Mission Hill K-8 School and the Manning Elementary in Jamaica Plain and the Mario Umana Academy in East Boston will return to find new schoolyards next week. These schools received support from the Boston Schoolyard Initiative and BPS, which have built new play structures and outdoor classrooms to enhance learning opportunities for students and promote health and safe play.
In addition, students at BPS’ UP Academy Charter School of Dorchester will find a dramatically different building than the one they left in the spring after a volunteer project to upgrade the Marshall building. Thanks to the help of undergraduates at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, who are also part of the 2013 Mass Art Community Build Project, the school year will begin with new decks, outside benches, plants to replace asphalt, and new signage. BPS has also replaced floors and ceiling tiles at the school.
“We consider the summer our busy season, so it takes quite a bit of coordination and attention to detail to make everything work,” said Khadijah Brown, Director of BPS Facilities Management. “Our teams are the best in the business and we cannot wait for students to see the changes we have in store for them next week.”
The Boston Public Schools, the birthplace of public education in the United States, serves more than 57,000 pre-kindergarten through grade 12 students in 128 schools.
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