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west roxbury complex

Boston wants to move one of its high schools to a now-vacant campus

June 9, 2023
The proposal calls for the John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science to relocate to the shuttered West Roxbury Education Complex site.

The Boston school district wants to move one of the city’s largest high schools to a vacant campus that officials closed four years ago for safety reasons.

The Boston Herald reports that the proposal calls for the John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science to leave the campus it has shared for nearly four decades with Madison Park Technical Vocational High School and relocate to the shuttered West Roxbury Education Complex site.

The plan, which requires approval from the Boston School Committee, would create a “state-of-the-art” STEM facility for grades 7 to 12 at the new O’Bryant campus. It would expand vocational offerings at Madison Park and enable seventh- and eighth-grade students to study there as well.        

The move would give O’Bryant the additional space needed to increase its enrollment by roughly 400 students, from 1,600 to 2,000, and it would give the school its own sports facilities and lab space. Today, O’Bryant admits half as many seventh-graders as ninth-graders because of space constraints.

Madison Park, the city’s only vocational school, could, in turn, take over the entire campus it now shares with O’Bryant. It would expand to include the seventh and eighth grade, more than doubling enrollment from roughly 1,000, to 2,200.

The West Roxbury Education Complex was closed in 2019 because of its poor condition. Boston Mayor Michelle Wu and School Superintendent Mary Skipper said the facility would need a complete renovation to accommodate the O’Bryant school.

The mayor said $18 million has been proposed in the city’s capital budget for project design, which will help to determine how much it will cost to renovate the West Roxbury facility. Another $45 million has been allocated for design on Madison Park, she said. The city is aiming to start construction on both projects in early 2025, but there’s no timeline for completion or when O’Bryant would be moved to the West Roxbury campus.

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy, senior editor, has written for AS&U on a wide range of educational issues since 1999.

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