City council to consider $72-million rebuild of STEM school in Roxbury

The City Council could vote tomorrow to authorize borrowing money to tear down the old Dearborn Middle School building on Greenville Street and transform it into a modern Dearborn 6-12 STEM/Early College Academy.

City officials hope to win a state grant to fund at least part of the project for the academy, which has used the old building for several years.

The council's regular meeting begins at noon in its fifth-floor chambers in City Hall.

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    Dearborn Middle School

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    The Dearborn on Greenville street actually used to be Girls High School, which I attended in the late '60's. Great old building, should be on the historical list not torn down!

    1852 until 1974.

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    Just think

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    of all the renovation that could be done with the tax break money from the tech and pharm companies currently running the city.

    Close on the history

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    Girls moved there in 1954, part of the shuffle when Practical Arts closed (Girls was on West Newton Street before, but started on Mason Street back in 1852.) Practical Arts High School opened the building in 1913.

    But yeah, since my mom was a grad, it seems bad to tear it down. Surely they could rehab it cheaper.

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    Not for that purpose

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    Enough with the "every old building is a landmark and you can't tear it down". No, it would NOT be cheaper to rehab this building into a STEM school. NO NO NO. Not at all. Otherwise, you would see biotech firms in the old tar paper shack buildings of Kendall, instead of new buildings.

    STEM stuff means high electrical loads. It means running cable for tech and internet stuff. It means positive pressure laboratories with fume hoods and other HVAC issues that an old building cannot possibly economically accommodate.

    Get over it - the land is the valuable part of this. Not every old building has to be saved so we can live in a dysfunctional museum.

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    Tech firms in old buildings

    There's a fair amount of that around Kendall Square -- American Twine building, Woven Hose complex, Athenaeum building, various MIT buildings that were bought after their original industries moved out. And not just in Kendall Square, but also out in Somerville (Artisan's Asylum, Greentown Labs, the 48 Grove Street building, Fringe near Union Square)

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    Never met a rehab you didn't hate, eh?

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    I'm not saying string some wiring in the walls and you'll be all set, but is the exterior sound? As noted below, buildings get gutted and repurposed, and we aren't really talking about a repurpose but rather an update. I work in a building older than the one in question, and electrical loads have been increased, cables have been run, and HVAC has been updated since I've been working here.

    But if you think you cannot take a hundred year old building and update it for cutting edge, stay away from Lowell. Or Cambridge. Heck, stay away from Hyde Park, as they rehabbed the American Tool and Machine site for the Renaissance Charter School.

    And no, it is not a landmark, and I wouldn't be the person leading the charge to preserve it, but as a taxpayer, I need to know if this is the most cost effective means or just a boondoggle. Sad that Girls High School would be no more, but that's been the case since 1974. And besides, mom went to the West Newton Street campus.

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    yeah but

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    then the architectural firm that wins the bid can't showcase it on their webpage!

    It Looks Like A Lovely Building

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    Beautiful staircases; hardwood floors, shelves, cabinets, and other woodwork; etc.. The video didn't even show anything in disrepair. Why would anyone wish to tear it down?

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    Anyone know why?

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    I totally support the construction of new schools in the city or overhall of others where possible, as many of our school buildings are grossly outdated, lack outdoor space, etc. but this school looks to be fairly large. Anyone know why they want to totally replace it instead of renovating? Is it just an issue of the money being there for new construction but not renovation or is there something about the building that makes it unsuitable?

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    My guess

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    is asbestos, lead, and ADA violations. Plus, it's hard to retrofit those old buildings to have the electrical outlets and internet connections that run so easily in new buildings.

    Ethernet Jacks On The Wall, Above The Beautiful Wood Cabinets

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    If you watch the video between time 2:10 and 3:10, two teachers are sitting in a classroom talking. On the wall behind the teachers, right above the beautiful wooden cabinets, are modern electrical outlets with Ethernet jacks. Surely a lot of money was spent for that fairly recently.

    Abate any hazardous materials (if that hasn't also already been done), and build an addition for new special laboratories and to achieve ADA compliance.

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