New Era of Educational Facility Excellence in Boston Begins

Yesterday marked a historic day for the City of Boston and the future of its public schools. With the goal of providing the children of our world-class city with world-class educations, Mayor Marty Walsh and Superintendent Tommy Chang kicked off Build BPS, a 10-year Educational and Facilities Master Plan for Boston Public Schools. SMMA has been commissioned by the City and BPS to lead the planning effort, in partnership with the Mayor, his Educational Cabinet, and BPS/Superintendent Chang.

The event took place at East Boston’s McKay School, a site chosen because it is representative of the most significant challenge BPS currently faces—below-standard facilities, with regard to space and configuration, that serve vibrant school communities. Of Boston’s 128 schools, only eight were built after 1987—82 were constructed pre-World War II, and the oldest dates back to 1885. The Master Plan is the first step in the City’s recommitment to educational excellence, and will provide options that guarantee that the environments in which its children learn give them the best possible chance for success.

"The most important investment we can make is in our young people,” Mayor Walsh said. “And we do that by supporting their education and making sure they have the best opportunities and learning facilities available to them. This master plan will ensure that Boston's schools are equipping students with the education, skills, and facilities needed to meet the standards of 21st century learning."  

 

SMMA will facilitate the process, along with a team of nationally recognized experts, leading the analysis and developing the Master Plan options for consideration. The team's work will illustrate capital planning opportunities based on the adequacy of each school’s educational framework, coupled with the conditions of the facilities themselves. It will also include a financial component, which will present proposed funding strategies and possible courses of action. The period of discovery and analysis will culminate over two calendar school years and include multiple City groups, communities, administration, staff, and students.

The recommendations that will result from this undertaking will ensure that Boston continues to be ranked among the nation’s best urban school systems, and that its students will have access to educational opportunities and resources that will allow them to thrive and make meaningful contributions as young adults and onward.