The Boston City Council today unanimously backed a plan to tear down the current Boston Arts Academy on Ipswich Street in the Fenway and replace it with a $124.8-million school that will feature actual practice space for the school's music and dance students and where teachers will no longer have to use restrooms as storage spaces.
The new building will also let the school expand enrollment from 440 to 500 students.
Because the proposal could require borrowing, the council has to take a second vote on the proposal at a later date.
Councilor Mark Ciommo (Allston/Brighton) said the city will seek reimbursement from the state for the project - which could cover up to 65% of the cost. Councilor Frank Baker (Dorchester) praised the Walsh administration, noting that under the Menino administration, the city never sought reimbursement from the state for such projects.
Councilor Josh Zakim, who represents the Fenway, said the school, which requires prospective students to audtion, has "always had great teachers, it's alway's had great student, it's world class," despite being located in a decaying former postal-service warehouse.
In recent years, city officials have repeatedly tried and failed to find a new location for the school.
New school presentation and renderings (4.2M PDF).
More details on what's wrong with the building.