Mayor Martin J. Walsh was among those who joined the Boston Prep community on Saturday, September 8 for a ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating the completion of construction of the school’s new comprehensive middle and high school facility located at 885 River Street in Hyde Park.
The culmination of three years of construction, the new facility offers enhanced learning opportunities for Boston Prep’s sixth through twelfth grade students from throughout the city of Boston. In line with the school’s mission to prepare all students to succeed in four-year colleges, the new facility supports a college preparatory curriculum, including a design center, fully equipped science labs, classrooms equipped with fully integrated technology, breakout rooms for small group support, two cafeterias, and a gymnasium. The new facility offers the school expanded physical space, allowing the school to grow student enrollment from a current 530 students to 700 students, providing greater access to the many Boston families on the school’s extensive wait list for lottery admission.
Following a speaking program, Mayor Walsh, Representative Russell Holmes, and Representative Angelo Scaccia joined Boston Prep students, faculty, alumni, family members, and Board members to cut a ribbon in celebration of the project completion.
“Boston Prep represents the Boston value of resilience. For years, this facility was just a dream – a hope. It was a hope of the administrators, the Board members, the parents, and the kids going to school. But you still gave your students the opportunities they needed to excel in academics, in sports, in arts, and in life. You’ve become one of the top performers in Massachusetts, and there’s no limit to how high this school can soar,” Mayor Walsh said. “Now, this new facility unlocks incredible potential for students. These students have fully equipped science labs, a design center, integrated technology in every single classroom. This school is beautiful, it’s nurturing, and it allows students to receive the individualized supports they need.”
Executive Director Sharon Liszanckie reflected on the power of the new facility in creating a strong school community. “What I love most about this building is not these beautiful floor to ceiling windows or the giant Phoenix on the wall of the gym. What I love most is the way in which this building brings our community together. It creates a warm and inviting place for families and friends to gather, a place for alumni to return to when they’re back from college on winter break, a place for students and teachers to work together and build dreams together – a place where all feel known, valued, and welcome.”
Mayor Walsh noted that while he was technically the Keynote Speaker, student Keryane Adjei-Akosah had truly delivered the Keynote Address. Keryane shared the story of her move to the United States from Ghana in the fifth grade. “Without Boston Prep, I wouldn’t be the student I am today. I’ve learned to advocate for myself. I’ve adjusted to American English. And I have developed some big goals. I fell in love with Dartmouth College on a trip there with Boston Prep in eighth grade, and I can’t believe I am here now, in my junior year, really thinking about submitting an application to Dartmouth College.”
Athletic Director Eric Tabb reflected on the ability of the school to reach more students and families through the physical expansion. “Our school is providing what our students need and deserve. And as we grow now to serve more students, we’re able to provide opportunities for more kids. It’s an exciting time to be a part of this work here. And we thank you all for contributing to the success of our students and of Boston Prep.”
In closing, Mayor Walsh asked the students in the crowd to raise their hands and then finished with some words of advice for them. “I want you to think about what you want to do when you grow up. Whatever it is that you want to do, you can accomplish that if you do a couple things: go to school every day, listen to your teachers, ask the questions that you don’t have an answer to, don’t be afraid to dream, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes along the way because it will make you stronger and better.”
A $40 Million project in total, the school’s capital campaign has raised over $11 Million in capital campaign funds to support construction, in addition to securing supplemental financing. Public charter schools do not receive the same state subsidies that district schools receive to finance their facilities. Therefore, they must use operating revenue augmented with fundraising efforts and financing to construct their school buildings. As the school year begins, the school leadership team is working to complete fundraising efforts and cross the finish line. Click below if you wish to make a gift to the capital campaign today.