Roxbury Prep told supporters today it's given up on plans to build a new high school on Belgrade Avenue at the Roslindale/West Roxbury line, four years after it first proposed the idea, only to be confronted by both angry residents and a BPDA bureaucracy that kept the plans bottled up far longer than it took to get a 55-story skyscraper downtown approved.
In e-mail to supporters, the school said now's a good time to look for another site because Covid-19 means "there have been significant changes in the Boston real estate market, where new, affordable sites are now becoming available."
The school's proposal called for razing the old Clay Chevrolet building near West Roxbury Parkway and replacing it with a 562-student high school.
The decision is not a complete surprise; news surfaced in December that Uncommon Schools, which runs Roxbury Prep, had started to look for a new site in the face of month after month of delay by the BPDA, which never formally said why it was refusing to bring the proposed school up for a vote.
In its e-mail, a copy of which was posted in the Keep Roslindale Quirky Facebook group, the school added:
Stepping away from 361 Belgrade Ave was not an easy decision and we are so thankful to the over 800 Roslindale and West Roxbury residents, and over 2,000 Boston residents, who took action in support of our project, in support of equity, and against what were at times racists claims about our students and our school. Though we are leaving Belgrade, we will never stop fighting for equal opportunities for our scholars.