BPDA Approves Plans for Roxbury Prep High School

Renderings courtesy of SMMA/Roxbury Prep

Boston – Roxbury Prep, a public charter school that currently serves over 1,500 Boston students across five campuses, has received approval from the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) to move forward with plans to build a new high school in Boston’s Newmarket neighborhood.

Founded in 2015, Roxbury Prep High School has sought for four years to build a permanent campus to welcome all high school students under one roof. Currently, Roxbury Prep’s 650 high school students are separated by five miles and between two buildings in Hyde Park and Roxbury.

“The opportunity to have all our students in one building, after years of moving and separate campuses, in a neighborhood that is welcoming, reflective, and inclusive of our school community will strengthen learning, success, and our school community,” said Shradha M. Patel, founder, Roxbury Prep High School.

Located on Proctor Street, the new site will provide the school with space to build a state-of-the-art facility that meets the needs of its students, staff, and community. It is in close proximity to multiple public transportation options, and will be designed to offer students a permanent, well-equipped learning environment to help build community and create a complete high school experience. The 83,000sf facility will accommodate all students in grades 9-12, and will include a full-sized gymnasium, cafeteria, performing arts spaces, and high-tech science classrooms.

The new building will also serve as a foundation to build and strengthen community. Roxbury Prep High School will join the neighboring Mason Elementary School, Orchard Gardens K-8 Pilot School, nonprofit organization The Base, student meal provider City Fresh Foods, as well as the newly established Newmarket Business Improvement District. This new location also offers students and staff multiple options to utilize public transportation, including four bus lines and the Fairmount Commuter Rail Line’s Newmarket stop, which are essential to the 80% of students who currently take public transportation to get to and from school.

Roxbury Prep will partner with Suffolk Construction, a Newmarket headquartered business, on development of the new high school. The school will seek LEED Gold certification, and include high efficiency lighting and electrical systems, electric vehicle charging stations, bike storage, and rooftop solar. Roxbury Prep High School will also invest in public realm enhancements. To enhance multimodal transportation options and ensure accessibility, the project will replace deficient sidewalks, add pedestrian crossings, add accessible ramps, and increase street lighting. Roxbury Prep will also add new street trees and benches to the Magazine Street area for improved public realm amenities.

“Suffolk has been a proud member of the Newmarket business community for nearly 40 years. We care deeply about this neighborhood and have always been a strong advocate for investment in its future,” said John Fish, chairman and CEO of Suffolk. “We are honored and privileged to play a role in the construction of Roxbury Prep High School right in our own backyard. The new school will provide equitable opportunity and a modern, sustainable learning environment for the future leaders of our great city, and it will symbolize all that is possible when government, businesses and communities come together to make ambitious visions become reality.”

“I am thrilled that Roxbury Prep can now build a brand-new high school so that all four grades can be together in a permanent building. During the four years Roxbury Prep attempted to secure a location for a new high school on Belgrade Ave., we consistently faced uncertainty, pushback, and prejudice. To find a spot in Roxbury where we can lift up, celebrate, and be proud of our children and our school community is a long time coming. The stability, community, and sense of pride this new campus will bring is hard to put in words,” said Natasha Cole, Dorchester resident and Roxbury Prep parent.