Proposed site for new Quincy Upper School remains in Chinatown
By Ling-Mei Wong
Josiah Quincy Upper School could share a location with the Boston Arts Academy in Chinatown. The proposed school project would be the most expensive one in the state, with costs estimated to surpass $261 million.
However, state reimbursement of 80 cents for each dollar lowers the cost.
The proposed site at Parcel 25 is presently empty at Kneeland and Albany streets, next to I-93. Albany Street divides it from Parcel 24, which broke ground for the One Greenway housing project.
Richard Chang, co-headmaster of Quincy Upper School, said, “There’s no question the school supports affordable housing. Housing is a priority in Chinatown.”
Chang said other public land parcels in Chinatown had potential housing designations, but Parcel 25 had no such designation. “The bottom line is this definitely does not detract from the housing objectives of Chinatown,” he said.
The Massachusetts School Building Authority voted to pursue schematic designs for the school at an Oct. 2 meeting. While preliminary planning has taken place, the schematic design phase evaluates site needs and costs. The authority will vote to approve the plans in July 2014.
The project requires lifting the building up to Kneeland Street and building a cover over the Central Artery to combat air pollution. Site mitigation is expected to cost $20 million to $25 million, compared to $30 million to acquire private land through eminent domain in Boston, said Maureen Anderson senior project manager in the city of Boston’s property and construction management department. Other site considerations have driven up the project’s cost estimates.
In comparison, Newton North High School cost nearly $200 million to build, a controversial project that is the most expensive Mass. school to date.
Quincy Upper School has two campuses at Arlington and Lincoln streets, while the Boston Arts Academy is in a former U.S. Postal Service warehouse in Fenway.
A community meeting about the project will take place at 6 p.m. on Oct. 8 at the Quincy Upper auditorium on 152 Arlington Street.
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