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Source : Boston Public Schools
May 13, 2021
Author : Patty Rodriguez
Boston Public Schools Superintendent Brenda Cassellius proposed accelerating the construction and renovations of various schools on Wednesday.
The Boston Public Schools (BPS) District proposed five new buildings and four “major” renovations in their fiscal year 2022 plan, which was also released on Wednesday.
“This is a big step in moving forward to provide to our students the facilities that they deserve,” BPS Superintendent Brenda Cassellius told reporters, according to the Boston Herald.
East Boston, Allston, Dorchester, and Roxbury should all see new school buildings, and Allston should also get a new school to replace the Horace Mann School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.
According to the Boston Globe, $163 million is allocated for school construction for next fiscal year.
Acting Mayor Kim Janey, who is serving as former Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has taken the position of labor leader in the Biden Administration, said that “the vision for Boston Public Schools is that every student has access to learning opportunities that unlock their potential and help them flourish.”
“That includes learning in excellent school buildings that reflect the high potential we know our students can reach and matches the talent of our educators,” she continued. “We have a long way to go to achieve our mission, but make no mistake, this proposal from the superintendent provides a road map to bring us closer to this goal.”
Walsh’s mayoralty has been criticized due to low rates of participation of black-owned business in the city’s contracting.
“Black Bostonians, according to a study conducted by the city, were given just 0.4 percent of city contracting dollars from 2014 to 2019,” Contractor News has reported.
Our reporting continued: “More than 47,000 contracts between 2014 and 2019 (a period in which Walsh was Mayor) totalling nearly $2.2 billion were analyzed. Despite having the ‘highest rates of businesses available to work with the city,’ black-owned businesses ‘posted the lowest rates of contracts.’”
According to the Herald, four middle schools in the Boston area will be closed so that they can be renovated and reconfigured for other grades.
BPS Chief Financial Officer Nate Kuder said it’s too early to project the cost of the renovations.
We want to ensure every student attends school in a modern building that promotes learning and conveys respect,” he said.
The goal, Kuder said, is to replace every school building that’s over the age of 50 in the district.
These projects come as an installment in a 10-year plan called BuildBPS which will total as a $1 billion investment. Community and school committees will issue their final votes on some of these projects in October.Five School Construction Projects, Four Renovations Proposed in Boston