BPDA Approves Plans to Build a New High School in Boston’s Newmarket Neighborhood

Photo Credit: SMMA/Roxbury Prep

BOSTON – Roxbury Prep, a public charter school that currently serves over 1,500 Boston students across five campuses, received approval from the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) to move forward with plans to build a new high school in Boston’s Newmarket neighborhood.

The new site will provide Roxbury Prep High School with space to build a state-of-the-art facility that meets the needs of its students, staff, and community. It is in close proximity to multiple public transportation options, and will offer students a permanent, well-equipped learning environment to help build community, and create a complete high school experience.“After a long, sustained effort, we could not be happier to finally move forward with our plans to build a permanent, world-class high school for our scholars, teachers, and community to keep our promise of college and beyond,” said Shradha M. Patel, Founder, Roxbury Prep High School. “The opportunity to have all our students in one building, after years of moving and separate campuses, in a neighborhood that is welcoming, reflective, and inclusive of our school community will strengthen learning, success, and our school community. We are encouraged by the critical, ongoing investment efforts led by the City of Boston, neighborhood businesses, and community partners to celebrate the contributions of the Newmarket neighborhood, and look forward to joining those efforts, becoming long-term neighborhood partners, and establishing even more opportunities in Newmarket.”Located on Proctor Street, the new location is ideally situated to meet the needs of the Roxbury Prep High School community. The 83,000 square feet will accommodate all students in grades 9-12, and will include a full-sized gymnasium, cafeteria, performing arts spaces, and high-tech science classrooms. Currently, Roxbury Prep’s 650 high school students are separated by five miles and between two buildings in Hyde Park and Roxbury.

“I am thrilled that Roxbury Prep can now build a brand-new high school so that all four grades can be together in a permanent building. During the four years Roxbury Prep attempted to secure a location for a new high school on Belgrade Ave, we consistently faced uncertainty, pushback, and prejudice. To find a spot in Roxbury where we can lift up, celebrate, and be proud of our children and our school community is a long time coming. The stability, community, and sense of pride this new campus will bring is hard to put in words,” said Natasha Cole, Dorchester Resident and Roxbury Prep parent.The new building will also serve as a foundation to build and strengthen community. Roxbury Prep High School will join the neighboring Mason Elementary School, Orchard Gardens K-8 Pilot School, nonprofit organization The Base, student meal provider City Fresh Foods, as well as the newly established Newmarket Business Improvement District. This new location also offers students and staff multiple options to utilize public transportation, including four bus lines and the Fairmount Commuter Rail Line’s Newmarket stop, which are essential to the 80% of students who currently take public transportation to get to and from school.“On behalf of the Newmarket Business Improvement District, we are excited to welcome Roxbury Prep as a new, long-term neighbor in Newmarket,” said Sue Sullivan, Executive Director of the Newmarket Business Association. “This news follows our recent investments in transportation, safety, and neighborhood beautification, and we are looking forward to continuing this positive momentum with a dedicated partner eager to join our community.”“It is my honor to be in support of the proposed Roxbury Prep Charter School project located at 69-71 Proctor Street,” said City Councilor Frank Baker. “The new campus will be a positive addition to the Newmarket Business Association. All students deserve a quality education, learning together in one building, and I am looking forward to the day we can bring them to this campus.”Roxbury Prep will partner with Suffolk Construction, a Newmarket headquartered business, on development of the new high school. Along with a modern, high quality learning environment, the school will seek LEED Gold certification, and include high efficiency lighting and electrical systems, electric vehicle charging stations, bike storage, and rooftop solar. Roxbury Prep High School will also invest in public realm enhancements. To enhance multimodal transportation options and ensure accessibility, the project will replace deficient sidewalks, add pedestrian crossings, add accessible ramps, and increase street lighting. Roxbury Prep will also add new street trees and benches to the Magazine Street area for improved public realm amenities.“Suffolk has been a proud member of the Newmarket business community for nearly 40 years. We care deeply about this neighborhood and have always been a strong advocate for investment in its future,” said John Fish, Chairman and CEO of Suffolk. “We are honored and privileged to play a role in the construction of Roxbury Prep High School right in our own backyard. The new school will provide equitable opportunity and a modern, sustainable learning environment for the future leaders of our great City, and it will symbolize all that is possible when government, businesses and communities come together to make ambitious visions become reality.”“Our students and families deserve access to a top-notch educational space they can be proud of, and the Newmarket campus brings that vision to reality,” said Ruven Rodriguez, Board Chair of Roxbury Prep High School. “Throughout this multi-year effort, we have seen first-hand how resilient our scholars and community are on the road to social justice and educational equity. I’m thrilled we can move forward and build a high school for our current and future community to be proud of, in a neighborhood that has been so welcoming and supportive.”Founded in 2015, Roxbury Prep High School has sought for four years to build a permanent campus to welcome all high school students under one roof. The Newmarket neighborhood campus will begin a new legacy for the Roxbury Prep community in Boston.