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Boston to Spend $1B on School Projects

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

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Boston is looking to invest $1 billion over the next 10 years to repair and replace its aging schools.

In a recent “State of the City” address, Mayor Martin J. Walsh said 65 percent of the city’s 127 schools were built before World War II and fewer than half of them had undergone full renovations.

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The initiative, called BuildBPS (Boston Public Schools), includes renovating existing buildings and constructing new ones.

“In that time, we built an elevated expressway, tore it down, and buried it in a tunnel downtown,” Mayor Walsh wrote in an opinion piece published by the Boston Globe. “We should be able to build great schools. They are our ultimate investment in the future.”

The mayor’s initiative, called BuildBPS (Boston Public Schools), includes renovating existing buildings and constructing new ones. Walsh indicates that energy efficiency will also be key, envisioning livable environments with fresh air and sunlight as well as increased accessibility.

Additional plans include building partnerships with universities, and bringing in modern learning technologies.

“BuildBPS is an incredible opportunity, the dawn of a new era of school building in Boston,” he noted. “But it will require some change in the status quo. That may present a challenge. Generations of struggle for equity in urban schools have left trust gaps.”

According to Construction Dive, the school initiative in Boston follows similar projects around the country. The report notes that the Maryland public school system recently opened the first net-zero energy school in that state and the City of Baltimore also launched a $1 billion school construction and renovation program last year.

Further, the Associated General Contractors reports that contractors are expecting to see K-12 and higher education work expand over the next 12 months, though not at the same rate as retail, hospital or warehouse markets.

   

Tagged categories: Aesthetics; Construction; Design; Economy; Energy efficiency; Maintenance + Renovation; Market; Renovation; Schools

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