GLCPS Breaks Ground on STEAM Center

(l-r) Lena Pires, GLCPS principal; Nicolette; John Vasconcellos, South Coast Community Foundation president; Furtado; Natalie Teixeira, GLCPS 10th grade student; Amey Bissonnnette, GLCPS director of development; Chief Paul Oliveira, New Bedford Police Department; Rick Kidder, One Southcoast Chamber of Commerce president; Abreu; Cabral; Riding; Emily Grandstaff-Rice, Arrowstreet senior associate; and Larry Spang, Arrowstreet principal

New Bedford, MA – Global Learning Charter Public School (GLCPS) recently broke ground on the renovation of a historic building located at 106 Bullard Street in New Bedford, creating “One School, One Campus.”

In launching the $8.5 million renovation project, Dr. Stephen Furtado, executive director of GLCPA, announced the donation of $2 million from Joan and Irwin Jacobs. The new building will be named the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Center for STEAM Education. The capital campaign has now raised more than $7 million towards its goal.

Furtado welcomed State Representative Antonio Cabral; Audra Riding, general counsel and legislative director of State Senator Mark Montigny; City Counselor Ian Abreu; Tim Nicolette, executive director of MA Charter Public School Association; business leaders, donors, families and students to the event. Officials applauded the project for reinvesting in the North End neighborhood and bringing a building in disrepair back to life. Abreu noted that the investment in youth and the future workforce is vital to the future of the city of New Bedford.

The One School, One Campus project will lead to the rehabilitation of a 3 -story, 18,132sf building for GLCPS students, staff and community members. This project will allow GLCPS to reallocate classroom space and offer students an education experience that remains rich in technology and on the leading edge of education innovation. The expanded classroom space will feature science labs, dedicated art and music space, foreign language classrooms, multi-use classrooms and teacher and community collaboration space. The renovation will also include necessary upgrades to bring the building up to code.

GLCPS will be able to achieve the expanded campus with the support of the local community, individual donors and private foundations. The project is anticipated to be completed in a year.

The buildings are on a 25-year lease, including a five-year extension option, with the Diocese of Fall River. The new lease includes both the current main campus building located at 190 Ashley Blvd. and the addition of the adjacent former St. Anthony’s convent building located at 106 Bullard St. in New Bedford.

Prior to the 2019-2020 school year, the public charter school was split between two campuses, approximately two miles apart, creating a travel interruption during the school day for high school students that split their time between both campuses.