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West Roxbury school that BPS said it had to shut immediately for safety reasons keeps getting re-opened for this and that

WGBH reports that the now former West Roxbury Education Complex has been re-opened several times this fall for events, such as for police physical-fitness training. BPS says there's a difference between occasional openings and keeping it open for an entire school year and besides, police are trained to deal with things like ceilings collapsing on their heads, unlike students.

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Paragraphs for the race card to appear.

There’s clearly a difference between a FEW fist responders use the school OCCASIONALLY and ~1,000 people 5 days a week. And yes its probably close to 1,000 if you include employees.

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No bro, they prefer pepper spray.

I thought it was built in the 70s/80s. How can it be essentially condemned?

Don't take care of something, you'll get to the point where it's too far gone to save.

This contrasts with the far older Hyde Park High School building, which the city poured a ton of money into - much of it from the state - to renovate and THEN decided to close the building, at least until the state said, um, no, you do that and you have to pay us back all the money you got. And that's why there are two high schools in that building now.

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Before the closing, community rumors persisted that this complex was to be used as a Police and EMS training site.

Now that has apparently begun.

Feels like the City administration is breaking faith with the BPS student/parent community.

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There is still a custodial staff there throughout the year, and my understanding was that for the entire school to remain open it just wasn't going to be cost effective or safe enough.

I don't think the city is doing anything nefarious here. Should be a nice building in a few years with sport/field facilities that are some of the nicest in the state already.

Does make you wonder who failed in the School Department though letting two schools (MP and Westie) rot like this in such a short period of time. Unless they were looking for State money for new buildings?

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There is still a custodial staff there throughout the year

If it's closed most of the year, WHY do they have custodians full time?

I'm afraid to hear the answer.

If you don't have at least minimal maintenance it will fall apart completely and be suitable only for demolition with no material recovery. Plus you want at least minimal heat to keep pipes from freezing and bursting. And periodically need people there to make sure it doesn't get ransacked by scrap and copper thieves or become filled with squatters.

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Top heavy Boston Public School Department and its institutional ineptness are clearly to blame.

Interim Superintendent Laura Perille exhibited no willingness to keep the West Roxbury students together with their teachers. Test scores were used as a smoke screen for what is now being revealed as a fait accompli with city hall and BPD.

https://youtu.be/vJ3Y4INoWFg

That was Overwhelming.
Suspect. Depending on the Facts on why certain decisions were made, this "smells like haarbor fish."

I appreciate the perspective of those who were harmed by the deciding realities, you gave a heroes fight. Boston Strong, Thank you!!

I'm inspired by your self determinations and willingness to move forward. Lessons learned.

Finally, the abstaining Committee Member??????Huh??????

West Roxbury Academy and Urban Science Academy were Level 3 schools, like 44 other schools in the Boston Public Schools "portfolio." WRA & USA Teachers met the challenge and successfully educated every child who walked through that door! Their Level 3 status should be applauded and rewarded, given that the BPS has finally admitted that they saturated the traditional high schools with the high severity, substantially separate students with disabilities, and with the low-level English Language Learners for decades! Which made these traditional schools appear to be "underperforming." Failing schools make the district money!

WREC was repeatedly told by district administration that there were not enough classrooms at the Irving, Burke or Excel High School, who were under-enrolled by 2/3rds! When lack of seats was disproven, given that a one time many of these school building held 4 small schools, then BPS said that headmasters refused to “cohabitate” and share their buildings! This was another lie. The headmasters were never asked! The district gave lip service to phasing the WREC schools out! The districts plan was to warehouse and "right size" schools at West Roxbury Academy and Urban Science students expense.

West Roxbury Academy and Urban Science students were used by the district to bring up the weighted student funding at other schools. After the selective boutique pilot schools picked off the high test scoring students, many of the WREC students remaining were salted around the city into under enrolled turnaround high schools! Before any "turnaround miracle" is touted by the district this year, BPS should be prepared to disaggregate the testing data from the WREC students assigned to those turnaround schools!

https://schoolyardnews.com/central-office-report-implied-wra-and-usa-sho...

I'm sure the new superintendent will remedy this after she lives in the neighborhood for awhile.

West Roxbury Education Complex (WREC) was intentionally allowed to fall into disrepair by Boston Public Schools (BPS). This is because Mass School Building Authority (MSBA) does not pay for general upkeep and BPS games the system by letting things run down to the point of needing replacement which the MSBA pays 70-90%. That is why the summer before closing WREC, BPS runs in and spends $312,000 to make repairs!

In 2016, BPS wrote an SOI (Statement of Interest) to the MSBA regarding the WREC. It was turned down for the Accelerated Repair Program because the SOI application BPS filed was “OUTSIDE THE SCOPE” of the Mass School Building Authority Accelerated Repair Program! That program is for roofs, boilers, and windows, and districts can submit more than one project proposal at a time. It is evident, if you read the MSBA May 31, 2016 reject letter, that Boston Public Schools intentionally filed the wrong application in a “strategic” move to build a case for closing the WREC building!

MSBA allows districts to apply for 1 major renovation/rebuild project a year under the MSBA Major Repairs Program. BPS could have applied for the MSBA Major Repairs Program for WREC. That program includes roofs, boilers, and windows and other capital needs but only one project can be submitted a year. Even though the WREC building was in need of major repairs, and educated double the amount of city-wide students, and students with autism and the severe multi-handicapped, that the BPS admitted were saturated at traditional BPS high schools causing them to "appear" underperforming, the decision was made by BPS to submit a new school application for the Boston Arts Academy. A school with a selective population. It takes a lot of expensive art, singing and dancing lessons to pass the audition to get into BAA! When asked why BAA was given priority over the West Roxbury Education Complex, Superintendent Perille said at the BuildBPS Hyde Park Meeting that BAA had more advocates!

https://www.bostonpublicschools.org/Page/7427