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."