Jonathan Levi Architects
The new Dearborn STEM 6-12 Early College Academy in Boston

Boston district opens its first newly constructed school in 15 years

Aug. 23, 2018
The Dearborn STEM 6-12 Early College Academy is being touted as a model for future school projects.

The Boston school district is unveiling the new $73 million Dearborn STEM 6-12 Early College Academy — a facility that officials say is Boston's first new school construction project in 15 years and a model for future projects.

The Boston Herald reports that the 128,000-square-foot facility in the Roxbury neighborhood is outfitted with flexible indoor and outdoor learning classrooms, two fabrication labs, a dance studio, gymnasium, 3D printers, a media center and laser die cutters as tools.

“This is the first brand-new school opening in Boston in 15 years,” says Patrick Brophy, the mayor’s chief of operations. “This will be the standard-bearer.”

The academy is at the same location as the previous Henry Dearborn School, built in 1913.

The facility — with about $37 million of the cost reimbursed by the Massachusetts School Building Authority — is the culmination of six years of planning, design and construction. Students have been housed at Jeremiah Burke High School in Dorchester as construction was underway.

With open, spacious classrooms, the building resembles a college facility and is designed to support the learning that happens inside with its focus on computer science, engineering, health and life sciences and college readiness.

The academy was designed to serve 600 students by 2020. Currently, there are 488 students with 60 staff. Eighty-five percent of students are non-white, with 49 percent of students as English language learners. Seventy-nine percent are low-income.

It was designed to link to the neighborhood and serve as a teaching tool for students.

“Families and kids in the neighborhood needed an opportunity for a building that would serve them better,” says Pam Pelletier, director of Boston’s K-12 Science & Technology/Engineering.

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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