Hey, there! Log in / Register

Rejected in Roslindale, Roxbury Prep now plans to build new high school in Newmarket Square

A charter school rebuffed for years by both nearby residents and the BPDA said today it's found a new location for a high school on what is now a parking lot on Proctor Street, off Massachusetts Avenue in Newmarket Square.

Roxbury Prep says it will soon file detailed plans for its proposed 90,000-square-foot building, which would become the academic home for students in grades 9-12 who are now split between campuses in Hyde Park and Roxbury. The charter school also serves students in grades 5-8.

Key to the location are four nearby bus lines and the Newmarket stop on the Fairmount Line, because 90% of the school's students now take public transportation, Roxbury Prep says.

Access to another commuter-rail stop, on the Needham Line, was part of the school's original proposal to replace an abandoned car dealership on Belgrade Avenue on the Roslindale/West Roxbury line with a new building. But nearby residents, who became experts on school sizing and traffic after initial antipathy came off as somewhat racist, managed to convince the BPDA to simply sit on the plans and take no action for four years, until the school finally gave up last year.

The new school - almost twice the size of the one ultimately and futilely proposed for Roslindale - will include a full-sized gym, a cafeteria, performing-arts spaces, and state-of-the-art science labs, Roxbury Prep says.

"We are encouraged by the transportation options, existing nonprofits, businesses, neighboring schools, and the community of Roxbury’s Newmarket neighborhood," Roxbury Prep High School co-founder Shradha Patel said in a statement. "Our initial outreach has been very positive, and we look forward to continued engagement, and becoming a long-term neighborhood partner."

Neighborhoods: 
Topics: 

Ad:
Like the job UHub is doing? Consider a contribution. Thanks!

Comments

The BPDA would've let it go forward had Marty Walsh given the school his blessing. He didn't. End of story.

up
Voting closed 25

It was the typical crowed who accused them of being racist simply because they didn't agree with them and had no argument. It's why calling someone a racist mean next to nothing nowadays. Its tossed around like rock salt in January.

up
Voting closed 36

How about the opponents who claimed that "kids from the neighborhood" would not be attending the school. I mean, it's coded racism, but it's racism all the same.

Now, that's not saying that every opponent was Bull Conner, but saying that the traffic in the area was horrible for students when there is an elementary school a few hundred feet away was a bit much, but not necessarily racist. That said, Roxbury Prep's inability to settle on a number of students that were going to attend the school was bad faith bargaining at it's worst. You have to play well with the neighbors to get your project done, and they started off not playing well.

up
Voting closed 39

Is it so crazy for neighborhoods that don't have a public high school or soon a middle school) to be frustrated by the city pushing in a charter school with explicitly little intention of serving their kids? If the city had firm plans for a public 7-12 school in WR/Roslindale, I think this proposal would have seen a lot more support.

up
Voting closed 26

As evidenced by the fact the BPDA couldn't even be honest and just reject the proposal, instead of sitting on it for four years.

In Massachusetts, charter schools ARE public schools and the ones in Boston are open to all Boston kids. There may be legitimate reasons to support "traditional" BPS schools (and as the parent of somebody who went through BPS K through 12, I might agree with them), but the fact is Roxbury Prep had state approval, so saying it was the "wrong" kind of school is, well, I won't say.

up
Voting closed 39

And it is an already established charter school, not a new charter school, which makes a difference.

up
Voting closed 9

West Roxbury and Roslindale children were more than welcome to attend the school.

Or are you looking at the, um, demographics of the student body and, well, not explicitly being racist, but, you know.

up
Voting closed 11

It's nice to say that race wasn't involved after the fact, but the record doesn't lie; the dog whistle arguments weren't exactly subtle, either.

"a resident noted how few of the school's students come from Roslindale and West Roxbury, said the school "benefits people from other neighborhoods"... One Guernsey Street resident said she just knew the students would start congregating in the neighborhood, buying and doing drugs and spray painting graffiti all over. "It's going to change the whole fabric of the neighborhood!" " - UHub, 3/1/17

"Back in September, a member of the Chronicles of West Roxbury II page, perhaps assuming it was a safe space for his views, referred to Roxbury Prep as "Cooley High," a 1975 movie about a black HS replete with offensive black stereotypes." - Can't link this one, but if you're in the neighborhood can find this in "Keep Roslindale Quirky", a popular neighborhood FB discussion page, from 3/29/19

"An early petition to block the building warned it could make the neighborhood less desirable, or spoil its “suburban feel." One lawn sign put up on a block away reads: “Stop 361 Belgrade — Save Our Neighborhood.” - WBUR, 9/21/18

up
Voting closed 67

Excellent, detailed documentation. As the great sage Homer (Simpson) said so long ago, "EVERYTHING looks bad if you REMEMBER it!"

up
Voting closed 17

I have to respectfully disagree. I was not for the school as I think Uncommon Schools are terrible. They don't educate all children and that was my issue. I would have been up for a BPS middle school or high school - but not these folks.

That being said it's 100% true that there were ppl that did not want this school b/c of the student demographics. I was at the first meeting and yes, people there were downright racist - no holds bar and it was disgusting and yes, I and others, called them out for it. After that meeting I wanted to be for the school b/c I did not like being on the side of said racists.

Now b/c I was against the school I was automatically a racist and was called that by my dear neighbors...of course not to my face. Adam, the tone of some of your post also has that note to it.

Not everyone against the school was a racist but yes, there were plenty of racists against the school.

up
Voting closed 9

I oppose charter schools because they do not in fact educate all students (they don’t have to take kids with more than mild disabilities, and the lottery process ensures they don’t get their fair share of families who are transient or are registered for school at the last minute when the pediatrician or someone else realizes they aren’t yet).

But when white people from one of the whitest neighborhoods oppose a charter school attended by mainly Black and brown students moving in, there’s racism at play, particularly when it’s an established charter school rather than an expansion of charters. The opposition won’t make fewer charter schools exist. It’s literally white people saying “I don’t want this school attended mostly by non-white folks in my neighborhood and I want it somewhere else.”

Also, I suggest you look up the difference between “being a racist” and engaging in racist behavior/supporting racist behavior.

up
Voting closed 14

That seems like a questionable choice, even ignoring the proximity to Methadone Mile.

Not that I'm opposed to them building just about anywhere they can find a space, but that seems like a poor match for the health & welfare of their students.

up
Voting closed 32

I walked past two bars and a liquor store every morning on my way to elementary school and then on the way back.

City kids are tougher than you think.

up
Voting closed 55

My UMass Boston math classes were upstairs from the Silver Slipper.

up
Voting closed 31

Your average Methadone Mile denizen has more pressing concerns that preclude mounting a NIMBY campaign against teenagers and their school commute.

up
Voting closed 16

Liquor Land is the least of the problems with this idea.

up
Voting closed 29

But some small minded NIMBYs got in the way

up
Voting closed 22

You spelled racists wrong.

up
Voting closed 18

and there is a Fairmount Line stop right there

up
Voting closed 12

They can't be serious. This is a horrible idea. And everyone knows it, even the ones proposing it.

up
Voting closed 20

We need more free housing for artists not schools.

up
Voting closed 8

Crazy how you comment under every thread but are drawing blanks on the countless articles about lack of quality schools in the city. The artists will be fine. I’m much more concerned about the kids who got pushed out of a chance for better surroundings to foster their minds (by racists/elitists) and into arguably the roughest area of the circumstances many of them are already trying to escape.

up
Voting closed 29

He's the classic troll, delighted by saying something remarkably stupid in hopes people get worked up over it. But unlike that Mark guy from Arlington or the retired "Cop" this guy doesn't even have a axe to grind. He just wants people debate some strawman position no one serious is making.

up
Voting closed 24

Is this where the parking is for 1010 Mass Ave (ISD)?

up
Voting closed 7

Exactly where the parking lot is as well as an Elementary School on Norfolk and Proctor st along with Orchard Gardens on one end and another Elementary School 2 streets over. They are already building apartment buildings on the corners and the area will be even more congested. The food pantry is also at the end of the street as well and Proctor is now a 1 way it’ll be a mess for all being that the city can’t keep the junkies out of the parks and that area. It’s already a terrible situation for the kids now having to watch for needles at the park or the homeless sleeping and shooting up in the park. Why put more children in that predicament with they can’t clean up Methadone Mile

up
Voting closed 12