BuildBPS Is Launched

The first of March marked the official launch of the BuildBPS initiative to transform the educational landscape of Boston Public Schools. A 10-year educational and facilities master plan, BuildBPS is a comprehensive, living document that seeks to guide capital investments for the City and District, in both the near and long term. The findings of the SMMA-led effort—undertaken with support from Pinck & Co., MGT of AmericaNew Vista Design, Mass Insight EducationWSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff, and Dr. James Jennings of Tufts University—were released to the public in the form of a downloadable report and a web-based dashboard, both of which can be found at BuildBPS.org.

BuildBPS was anchored by five core advisory committees, convened to delve deeply into the following areas: educational planning, demographics, educational and facilities assessment, community engagement, and finance. The work of each of these committees allowed planning principles to be developed and identified steps for immediate action that pave the way for future investments. 

"BuildBPS is going to transform the process of school building in Boston," said Mayor Martin J. Walsh, in remarks to the Boston Municipal Research Bureau. "It’s also going to improve the politics. Decisions on which projects to prioritize will never be easy. But the scale of our investment allows us to move forward together, as a District."

 

This venture involved thorough, in-person assessments of every school in the BPS portfolio—comprising more than 11 million square feet—and the extensive data compiled for each is accessible via the BuildBPS Dashboard. With a focus on transparency, this tool provides users with visualizations of all measured criteria that informed each building's rating in the following categories: Facilities Assessment – Building & Site, and Educational Facility Effectiveness – Learning Environments & Spaces. All of this information was developed with the intention of best equipping the community and District to chart a course forward for BPS. 

"Boston is a city renowned for its legacy as a leader in the field of education," said Lorraine Finnegan, Project Manager and Director of SMMA's K-12 Studio. "BuildBPS is an assertion of the City's unwavering commitment to preserving that legacy and ensuring that every child in the District has access to the best possible environment in which to learn."