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Charter school finalizes plans to move into Lena Park Community Center

Posted by Patrick Rosso  December 21, 2012 12:42 PM

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(Image courtesy Boston Redevelopment Authority)

The Lena Park Community center, located at 150-160 American Legion Highway.

The Lena Park Community Center in Mattapan could house a charter school as soon as 2014, according to a release from Brooke Charter Schools.

This will be the charter school network's third location. It currently has schools in Roslindale, opened in 2002, and in East Boston, opened in August 2012.

In Mattapan, the 150-160 American Legion Highway site will be a K-8 free, open-enrollment school for 500 students.

The school that will move to Mattapan, called the Brooke 2, was opened in 2011 and is temporarily housed in South Boston.

Currently 268 students are enrolled in the school in the kindergarten, first-grade, second-grade, fifth-grade, and sixth-grade. Administrators plan grow to a full K-8 school within the next four years.

While the school does not have a requirement to specifically enroll students from Mattapan, although officials said they will concentrate on recruiting students from the neighborhood.

“The Brooke Charter School Network is excited to permanently expand into Mattapan, and to continue to meet the needs of students in that area,” Jon Clark, network co-director for Brooke Charter Schools, said in a statement. “We’ve experienced tremendous momentum in the past year, and are looking forward to bringing an academic program that has proven to be successful to a wider network of learners.”

In 2012 the Brooke 2’s fifth-graders placed 371 out of 881 schools in English, 297 out of 881 schools in math, and 410 out of 881 schools in science on the MCAS standardized tests.

The school uses, “quality teaching in big doses…to provide academically rigors public education to students from the cities of Boston and Chelsea,” according to its website.

The purchase of the center was made Dec. 3, according to the school.

A community meeting was held in September about renovations that will be made to the school, according to the Boston Redevelopment Authority.

A Notice of Project Change, filed with the BRA, includes plans to renovate the structure, expand it by 3,000-square-feet, and add an elevator.

Schools officials expect to open the school for the 2014 school year.

The building, currently 57,000-square-feet, will house the school and an 8,000-square-foot community center and is part of the larger Olmsted Green project.

The larger development, which will eventually add hundreds of units of housing to parcels along American Legion Highway, including senior residences and a skilled nursing facility, is partnership between the New Boston Fund and the Lena Park Community Development Corporation.

In June 2012 the non-profit Hearth, cut the ribbon on 59-units of new senior housing at an adjacent parcel.


(Image courtesy Boston Redevelopment Authority)

The floor-plan for the new center.

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