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Tempers flare, voices rise at meeting on proposed Roslindale charter school

Residents against the proposed Roxbury Prep school

Residents raise their hands in opposition to the proposed school.

Officials at Roxbury Prep managed to provide a presentation on their proposal for an 800-student high school on Belgrade Avenue at a meeting tonight at which they were accused of getting ready to ruin the neighborhood, by people who said they don't understand why the school can't put its building someplace else, someplace more "central" to students from Dorchester, Roxbury and Hyde Park than the Roslindale/West Roxbury line.

Aides to the mayor and City Councilor Tim McCarthy at times struggled to maintain decorum in the overcrowded meeting room at District E-5. The meeting was so jammed, some people tried to listen in through an open door as they stood on a walkway outside; one woman in that crowd managed to get in a question through a window cracked open a few inches. The meeting started with calls to reschedule the meeting or to move it to the Holy Name parish hall across the rotary. "Even though it's Ash Wednesday, we still need a little more room here!" one woman exclaimed.

Roxbury Prep, a charter school, has yet to formally file plans with the BPDA or the zoning board for its $28.5-million proposal to replace the current Clay Auto and NTB buildings.

The session tonight was officially an "informal" meeting for abutters to learn more about the proposal and help the school fine tune the proposal for a three-story high school that would include science labs, a gym, a theater and a cafeteria - which Roxbury Prep's current secondary program, housed in two separate buildings in JP and Roxbury, doesn't have.

Proposed exterior design, as seen from across Belgrade:

Roxbury Prep proposal

Traffic and parking were two key issues. School officials expect that 90% of the students would continue to take public transportation to the new school, which is one of the reasons they chose the Clay site, because it's right next to the Bellevue stop on the Needham Line, a short ride from Forest Hills, and is passed by three bus lines out of Forest Hills. 66 parking spaces would be more than enough for staffers and the occasional visitor, they said.

Many residents didn't buy this for a second. "We can't even rely on the T to be on time for us," and parents would start driving their kids to school, one resident said. "You don't know what you're talking about," another resident told school officials. "Don't lie to me."

Other residents said West Roxbury Parkway and Belgrade Avenue are already, as one put it, "chock-a-block" in the morning and worried that students - both from Roxbury Prep and from other schools playing its teams in the gym - would begin parking on their streets. They pointed to MJ's - now Stash's - on Belgrade Avenue as an example of how they can't trust the word of any proposed operation along Belgrade. One resident said she was not opposed to the school but said she is worried that ongoing development along Belgrade is too much and called on city officials to do something.

Adam Seidel, director of operations for the school, said students and parents will not tie up nearby parking spaces, that the school has strong conduct policies and that he personally would be out and about ensuring the school does not interfere with the neighborhood - he said he would even give residents his cell number.

One resident brought up what she said was the school's high attrition rate from ninth to tenth grade, so high, she said, that any BPS school that had such a rate would be shut down. Seidel said a key reason for the attrition is that students want to go to a school with proper facilities, which Roxbury Prep doesn't currently have - and which, he added, is why it wants to build a new school.

"Put it somplace else!" one resident yelled. "We're taxpayers! We don't want it here!"

Comments like that prompted Celdra Allen-Harding, a Roxbury Prep parent who lives in Roslindale, to say she was hurt to hear her neighbors talk about "those people" and how Roxbury Prep officials should "put it in their neighborhoods."

A number of residents yelled "No!" and said they have nothing against the school, but that that corner is just the wrong location for it because of the traffic and parking issues.

A couple of minutes later, though, a resident noted how few of the school's students come from Roslindale and West Roxbury, said the school "benefits people from other neighborhoods" and demanded to know: "Why are we being asked to shoulder this?"

Residents and a member of the development team then got into an argument over whether the site is in West Roxbury or Roslindale. When the guy noted that one reason to build the school in Roslindale was because Roslindale currently doesn't have a high school, a resident replied it used to, but then the city shut it and moved everybody over to that giant high school in West Roxbury.

"Sorry, I can't do anything about that," he replied, which was not what the resident wanted to hear. "Half the kids (at West Roxbury) don't care about the neighborhood," she said. "This school is water tight," and its students know acting up before or after school has consequences, school attorney Joe Hanley said.

Many residents snorted and harrumphed, although other residents said they are glad Roslindale might be getting a high school and that even if neighbors see no direct immediate benefit, they would see long-term benefits from the well educated, community-minded students the school would turn out.

The battle over student conduct continued. One Guernsey Street resident said she just knew the students would start congregating in the neighborhood, buying and doing drugs and spray painting graffiti all over. "It's going to change the whole fabric of the neighborhood!" she complained, adding, no, she has nothing against Roxbury Prep students. "I don't care if they're in Wellesley, in West Roxbury or in Mattapan," students are students, and they cause trouble by their very nature, she said.

"I don't know what fantasy world you're living in!" a school backer yelled at her, praising the school for running a tight ship that produces well educated students not neighborhood nuisances.

"It's nothing about the children," one Iona Road resident said. "Please don't do this to yourself - or to us."

He said his main criticism was that the school is simply too small for 800 kids. "It's like a Japanese hotel room." But he was also concerned about parents double parking as they drop off or pick up kids. "I don't want it to be like South Boston."

Crowded room:

Roxbury Prep meeting
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Comments

it's an awful idea. Maybe Boston could have a unified school district with surrounding cities and towns like Brookline, Newton....oh wait, what am I thinking.

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Awful idea? Are you kidding? These children need a place for thek to learn. As a 11th grader who has had to keep moving campuses, I can tell you this is not a big mistake. Not only do we not get the feel or a real high school experience, we also dont get to intersct with all of our peers that we attend school with. Of course, a bunch of black and latino/a kids getting a ACTUAL school builiding is APPALING to rich white people who live in the area because they dont care and quite frankly, they probably think we’ll be “too loud”. Well too bad, because we do care and apart from your racist standpoint, we are respectful kids. And i speak for all the other 300+ students we have when i say we NEED a building, and equal education and chances need to provided for all. Im sorry if you think that that having alot of black and latino/a students is “dangerous” to you, because the real problem isint us. Its you, and its your unwillingness to welcome children who work day in and day out to stirive for life and fight for a better education. A better education that often isint always given to us. I, myself, along with all my other 11th grade classmates, wont get the chance to enjoy the building, we can pass it down and help out freshmen and sophomores peers.

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As a 11th grader now and still does not have a school building it hurts my friends, family, and myself. I want to be able to have a high school experience and the reason for that is hypocrites that are living in our communities. How can people preach and say that "the children are our future", yet you guys are taking that future away from us which is to have all of our campuses together as a community. I think putting the building there is good, we will be in a neighborhood where there will be good influence, etc.

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The main problem I do see is the clutter of cars from parent picks, drop offs and any events where extra staff officials and parents would have to attend an event would be the parking situation. I don't live on Belgrade Ave but I could imagine someone comes home that parks in front of their home and can't have their normal spot or a spot near by. Imagine the mess during the winter snow storms or after with snow banks. Just crazy!!! If they could provide maybe another 100 spots that will help in cases of events and etc. I also believe the noise level maybe a little too much during dismissal time, but that shouldn't last long. For me as the parent, it's very close to home if that would be the school to send my son to, when it's time. I also could understand that once you start to build, the building of other businesses my come, which could help but as well bring issues of parking and more traffic.

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Belgrade is an emergency corridor and is plowed close to the curb during storms - there's no snowbanks. Also, most houses on the street have some form of off street parking.

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What are you talking about??? Most homes on the street are multiple families and there is no parking now!!

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The Irving has 450 kids. The Brooke has 500 kids. They are about a block apart on Cummins Highway and outside of the 15 minutes right at the start and end of school, traffic isn't impacted. It's also different because high school kids are way more likely to take public transportation than get dropped off by parents. This is also true of the exam schools BTW.

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The charter schools, from what I've heard/read about them, can and do become rather exclusionary. There are so many of Boston's public schools that are in dire need of improvement, both curriculum-wise, and also the physical shape of many of Boston's public schools, as well. Why shouldn't the funding go to improving the Boston public schools that're already there, instead of building Charter schools that become so exclusionary?

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There's actually an interesting point there, just not the one you made. In this case, the $28m to be spent on the new school would not be coming directly from the BPS budget so in fact this would represent an inflow of $28m towards providing a new building to educate Boston kids. So in that sense, it's a huge plus.

Charter schools are less exclusionary than say, West Roxbury K-8 schools and the exam schools. I suppose they are more exclusionary than say, the Mattahunt in that parents actually want to send their kids there.

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Let's be clear, this school is not open to all Boston kids. It is a lottery system. Also, operating under the "no excuses" model is by definition exclusionary.

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/03/charter-schools-suspend-more...

The $28.5m-40m (depending on which of their figures you choose) to build the facility is being funded by Turner-Agassi Impact Capital, LLC, a multi-billion dollar investment firm in Santa Monica, CA, and bank debt. Hardly the little red school house image that has been projected and makes me wonder how "invested in the community" a company in California can possibly be. Further, how exactly does an investment firm make money off of Boston kids?

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How does the investment bank make money off the school then? Are they skimming money out of the school budget? I think that would be a pretty big story if true. Is it? Could it be they believe in charter schools and want to increase money flowing to education outside of state/fed gov't?

There are so many terrible people you can find nationally in the charter industry - Devos, the Waltons, Rhee etc... This group doesn't seem to be one of those types.

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Even if some of the kids arrive by car high school traffic clears out before most people get back home from work anyway.

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At its ugliest.

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One Guernsey Street resident said she just knew the students would start congregating in the neighborhood, buying and doing drugs and spray painting graffiti all over.

Is even uglier

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White kids skip school and smoke pot too right.

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I am struck by the spectacle of how it's okay for the inbound train to be full of kids going from one neighborhood to another for school, but it's an outrage to have the outbound train do the same.

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Boston is a big city, with a need for resident mobility throughout the city for various reasons. There should be nothing remotely controversial about 800 out of 700,000 transporting themselves to this location.

And I bet it will be great for nearby consumer businesses. Win win.

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Don't care if Fidelity, Westie High satelite campus, the Red Sox Foundation or Newton Country Day wants to move to this location. Site is too small to safely manage upwards of 1,000 users, PLUS the surrounding neighborhood. Let's get a look at all the facts, reports, and meeting minutes with public agencies. Regarding the local businesses, wonder if anyone has asked them. If I can't get parking near True Value as it is now, I settle with HD. If I can't get near Recreo, I suffer with DD. I am sure I am not alone.

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Not sure if you were at the meeting, but what the resident actually said was THERE ALREADY ARE issues with drug deals (ask BPD) in the tunnel, graffiti on the buildings, and hanging out on the train tracks at Bellevue. It would be nice if journalists could actually write an article accurately, but I guess one should not expect high caliber news from a free paper. Speaking of free, I wonder who funds the budgets for these free news outlets.

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In fact, was the first person there (aside from Dan Murphy from the mayor's office), so I was able to get a good seat (thought it started at 6, not 6:30). I took that photo at the top of the story (and you can see me, sort of, peeking out from just behind that big gray pillar in the foreground of the photo at the bottom; no, I didn't take that photo).

Yes, the woman mentioned the tunnel, the drugs and the graffiti and then kept going as if she expected the kids at the school to dive right into that scene. And then she said she wasn't racist, kids from Wellesley or West Roxbury (or Mattapan, she added) would be just the same.

As for funding, well, obviously, since I voted for Obama, it's the Russians!

OK, more seriously (not that you're going to believe me, but, then again, you're just some anonymous person to me, so, it's not like I need to show you my taxes), look at the ads at the top of the page and on the right side (and that one ad between the story and the comments). Note the Support Universal Hub link on the right. Yes, some people like what I do enough that they send me money, for which I am very, very grateful. So ads and contributions; that's where the bulk of my funding comes from (I also do some consulting work, but that's not my main source of income).

But I am curious, where do you think my money comes from?

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As a student at Roxbury prep high, I am inclined to stand up for what I think is right when I think it is right. As a student at Roxbury prep I am taught that assuming that people coming from different backgrounds will atomatically spray bottles of paint on the wall or even "deal drugs" is discriminating. As a student in Boston I realize there a lot of differences of ideas and so for some to to express their emotions in an ignorant manner is not ok . And if you think it is you are childish and just as low as the people who accually deal drugs and spray paint on walls and make the rest of that race or group look bad .

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I laughed at this! I am so used to NIMBY types opposing stuff that I kind of understand--big parking lots, noisy things, things that cause pollution--but I thought it was funny that so many people are saying "I'll be damned if I live near a school!" Was Clay's used car lot really so awesome?

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John Connolly for Mayor!

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I live in this neighborhood and I'm on the fence about the location for the school. On the one hand I do believe that there would be more traffic and less parking on the streets surrounding the proposed area, which of course would suck. On the other hand, I think it would be great to have another high school option in the area. I'm sure more West Roxbury and Roslindale parents would send their children there instead of having to send them across the city to other schools.

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It would be nice if the community could work together to get a public school built in that location instead of a charter school. It would be nice for the kids in Roslindale to not have to enter a lottery system to go to a school right down the street.

Other than that - the belligerence of people at that meeting was astounding. You don't have to like the proposal but your opposition should be done respectfully.

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To pay for their $200 month T Pass?

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But the city will bulk purchase student CharlieCards for students who live more than two miles from the school, same as it does for BPS students. The passes are good for subways, buses and at least travel to close-in commuter-rail stops.

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A Zone 1 pass is $200.25, at least for normal commuters. No idea what (if any) preferred rate the city gets.

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The student passes and fares are 50% less to ride with a valid ID. The BPS issued passes my kids use are also their school ID, so at most the cost is 50%, but I wouldn't be surprised if the school system gets some additional bulk discount. Either way, it's less expensive per student than yellow bus service.

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Did you mean for the Needham commuter rail line mentioned in the article? Does BPS purchase commuter rail tickets for students?

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Student CharlieCards are the only CharlieCards that are actually good on commuter rail. Kids just have to flash them to the conductor and they're good to go.

At least as of last June (when I suddenly lost my direct conduit to BPS student commuter info), conductors on a particular Needham Line train in the afternoon would even set aside one car just for BLS students boarding at Ruggles (to keep them away from the other riders, more or less).

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I don't quite get what you mean here, I have had a zoned pass on a Charlies Card for years now.

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Student cards 1. Have a letter on them and 2. Must schools put the kids pictures with their passes. As a T employee this is what they do, so they can use it on the commuter rail

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Boston Public Schools provide T-Passes to all of their High School students who live more than 2 miles away from the school. All of those kids from West Roxbury that go to BLS all get free T Passes.

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Transportation of catholic and charter school students comes out of the Boston Public School budget. It cost BPS $2,700 per pupil to transport a charter school student vs $2,100. for a BPS student. Charter school students get a higher level of transportation then BPS students. This year (FY2016-17) BPS spent $14.5 million to transport charter school students.

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Roxbury Latin moved to the neighborhood many years ago from good ol' Roxbury. Things seemed to have worked out well, no?

The good people of the area must remember that the Clair site is not exactly Hale Street in Beverly Farms, as is good chunks of the rest of Belgrade Avenue.

This seems to be an improvement to the area overall.

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From the RL website:

In the mid-1920s, a 50-acre estate in West Roxbury was procured, and the School moved to its present campus in 1927.

How is that in any way analogous to this new proposal?

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Because, that is what it is. I was just being well tempered and snarky earlier.

If Holy Name said they wanted to expand to this site it would have flown threw this meeting in a minute.

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Thank you for having the guts to say it.

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I am very close to where they are proposing to put this school and my reservations have nothing to do with the kids coming into the area or where they are coming from or what color or height or weight or religion they are... Here are my issues (and it has nothing to do with traffic or parking!).

1) Almost 900 people (kids and educators) for that spot is too small - especially with an open campus.

2) I am not a fan of charter schools

3) I am not a fan of for profit schools (Betsy DeVos's dream)

With that being said I was not happy with how contentious some of my neighbors were last night. I am fine if you are for it and I am fine if you are against it BUT we need to treat each other, the school folks, designers, lawyers, city officials with respect. I was not happy when someone was mocking the director about his commitment to his students. I was mortified actually and it makes me want to be for it (even with my above issues) because some people were just so nasty.

Give your arguments in a respectful manner; speak with them personally - set up a meeting off line so you can get some 1 on 1 time. But please leave your pitchforks and don't get caught up in a mob mentality just b/c that seems to be the age we are living in now.

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Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I went to the meeting with an open mind (and feel the same way about charters schools as you) and I was also horrified by the way some people were acting. Everyone around me was extremely rude - I couldn't believe it! There were various times when people made good points and the man behind me muttered "oh look they brought cheerleaders! They aren't part of our community!"
Even the man who had a good point about the funding for the school ruined his point completely by being as disrespectful as possible. He had a good point! But instead of formulating a well thought out response to the answer he got he reacted with "You're a liar and you can't do anything!". Good job dude, now no one is going to listen to the point you are trying to make.

It was downright disrespectful. Like you said - regardless of your opinion on this issue - you should act like an adult and have some level of decorum. Screaming at someone that they don't know how to do their job when they invite you to the high school play isn't necessary, we should be better than that.

My only gripe with the presenters is I would like to know why it's not possible to open a public school for Roslindale as opposed to building a charter school. But that is a topic for another time.

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Not because of teens, color, or damned parking issues? What else is there ever to oppose? Grumble, grumble!

Anyway, I agree with your reasoning, and share all three concerns. However, I think my opposition to charter schools is best argued on the merits of placing resources there rather than within the traditional public school system. I come down emphatically on the side of the latter, but don't feel it is relevant to this particular discussion. On the crowding issue, yeah, looks too small to me, too. But as I said elsewhere in this thread, I'm prepared to leave that determination to the school and architect. I recognize my limitations, and don't think I'm all that qualified to determine whether the proposal is suitable to the needs of the students.

So like you, I don't like charters, I question the design, but I can't see either as adequate reason to stand against this construction.

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I get the objections to charters, I really do but please understand that the for profit charter schools like Betsy Devos and the national charter school backers want cannot exist in MA due to our laws.

Yes, the money to educate a charter student follows the student out of BPS but it does not end up in the pocket of out of state plutocrats. It goes to that school, located in Boston, teaching Boston kids often taught by teachers who live in Boston. Every charter administration and teacher I've ever met is killing themselves to make these schools work. You don't have to agree with their impact or their methods or their existence but the intent behind them here in Boston is coming from the right place.

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If the City said they sold the current West Roxbury complex for an offer they couldn't refuse (1 billion dollars) and they were going to end busing and build a new West Roxbury High at Belgrade and West Roxbury Parkway, there would still be opposition because the site is simply not a good site for any school.

West Roxbury Parkway backs up almost to Washington St. in the morning, but Belgrade Ave. isn't too bad at anytime. The Holy Name crossing guard will back up the rotary about 10 times from 7:30 to 8:00am as well.

Put it over at Billings or Hynes field, much more space and less traffic than the current proposal.

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The words Crime and Drugs mean people who have grandparents who aren't from Meath, Crete, Bekka, or Padua when I hear it from the local crowd.

The Y got expanded a few years back down the street from here. There may have been some concerns about traffic, but the term "Crime and Drugs" I'm sure never came up then.

On an aside, the people, a limited number by the way, who had the most obvious drug references in my high school yearbook were all WR/Roslindale/Readville kids.

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I am on WR Parkway from Washington Street to the Holy Name rotary. It does not back up to Washington St. And Holy Name doesn't let kids get dropped off st the playground until 7:45, not 7:30. I also pass that way every morning. And that crossing guard is very good about getting a bunch of people to cross at once, rather than triggering the light each time. He is also good at waving people through the red light once people have made it across the street to keep traffic moving.

Stop with the scare tactics and admit you don't want "those" kids in your neighborhood.

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If I leave my house past 705 I get caught up in traffic at Holy Name Rotary b/c of parents dropping off kids for a bus pick up (not sure where the school bus is going). Is it a hassle? Yes it is and some of the parents drive like a-holes. So some of the traffic people are speaking to isn't even about Holy Name schools. Traffic isn't even the issue I have at all b/c that is Boston - one big traffic jam.

As for "those" kids...I am sure some of the people in the neighborhood are racists and that is why they would prefer not to have the school and that sucks and is pathetic. But to paint everyone that opposes the school as racist is just pandering.

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And yes, the traffic does almost back up to Washington St. And yes, kids walk from the other side of the parkway where sometimes their parents park or walk from home starting at 7:30. And no, I don't live there and don't care what kind of people go to school there, or who lives there.

It is not a good place for a school, (did you see where I mentioned putting it somewhere else? That should have tipped you off about how much I care about any neighborhood or who goes there)

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The goal for all high schools in Boston should be no kids arriving by car. Picking a location where you can barely get there at all unless you're in a car, such as near Hynes, is a very bad idea. What, the kids are going to pack on to the 51 bus?

If there is any kind of development that should be public transport centered, it's high schools. In the parkway area, the ideal location for a new high school would thus be within walking distance of Forest Hills. It turns out that we have one there already, which is more than half empty. The best solution would be to co-locate Roxbury Prep with Boston English.

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Sounds like another bunch of old people complaining about change. The idea that Belgrade is getting over developed or has traffic -at all - is rediculous. People are remembering back to an unhealthy time 30 years ago when this city was horribly under populated and they think of it as normal. We are never going back, thankfully.

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Seriously. I see worse traffic on Belgrade (I live near the square) from people, probably from WX and Dedham, driving in in the morning to hop onto the rail, leaving their car parked there all day. The idea that a bunch of high school students who live in the city are suddenly all going to buy cars and insurance so they can drive to school is absurd. This isn't east bumfuck Kansas where that's necessary. Kids would rather take the bus anyway, it's more time to socialize with each other.

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about the school. Probably leaning towards it. I think it would be better than more condos. But, really, the city was horribly underpopulated??? I don't think so. One of the great things about Boston is that it's not too big, too crowded, too dirty. If we wanted that, we'd live in New York City. I want Boston to stay a small city, not the overpopulated, underserved (BPS, transportation, infrastructure) city it seems to becoming.

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The population of Boston peaked in 1950 at 801,444. In 1980 the population was 562,994. In 2015, it was 667,137. Yes, Boston is underpopulated.

Yes, Boston has infrastructure issues -- but how can the City work with the T to improve public transportation when people show up to scream "Muh parking!" to prevent bus or bike lanes? How can the City use that infrastructure more efficiently when building apartments on bus lines and close to rail stations provoke cries of "The BRA is ruining our neighborhood!"? How do you expect to get cheaper housing or convince people to lose their cars less when the mobs at these meeting demand developers build lots of free parking -- making driving and parking cheaper and more appealing? The inescapable conclusion is that the people at these meetings don't care about the City as a whole, they only care about themselves, about their parking, about their home values and don't even understand the tradeoffs their greed forces on the rest of us who weren't alive 45 years ago to buy houses.

Not only that, you say you want Boston to remain a small city -- do you reaslize what you're saying? You're saying to Hell with the construction workers, the local banks, the start-ups, the doctors, the engineers, the architects, most of the lawyers, the restauranteurs and all the other people and businesses that depend on being close to each other. You might think that homelessness, substance abuse and the income gap is bad now, but after a little stagnation it'll be a lot worse. On top of the human costs, do you understand how Boston's finances work? In Massachusetts, thanks to proposition 2 1/2, cities and towns are limited in how much tax revenue they can raise -- except for new growth. A no growth Boston would be unable to keep up with any infrastructure demands, much less fund services like BPS or Elder Affairs.

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So we just grow and grow and grow... At what point then is the city too crowded? According to you, never. Who cares about the quality of life for the people who live in the city and make Boston their home. Businesses seem to be able to sustain themselves at the size the city is now. I think homelessness, substance abuse, income gap will get worse as the city gets more crowded. More people = more problems.

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60 years back or so.

Movie theater! That will attract the teens and they'll gather in Adams Park after dark, smoking and loitering!

Inn! Why that's just a flophouse where sinful activity will occur!

Two to three story buildings everywhere! OMG, there will be no where to park!

Furniture store! That would really be a better business for Rt 1. No parking either.

A high school off of Poplar St! The site is completely unsuited for a school as it is right in the middle of a residential neighborhood and has limited access to major streets. Traffic will be terrible.

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To call that a high-traffic area is a complete joke. Whenever I drive through there I think "this area is begging for development" If ancillary street parking issues are such a huge concern put some resident parking on the side streets in the immediate vicinity like they do near forest hills.

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Every time I go there I zip through.
Washington Street from Forest Hills is insane though.

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All that traffic on Washington to FH and reverse is due to the bottle neck created by forcing WR, Roz and HP to get downtown via FH. All that traffic comes from those three neighborhoods and there is barely one main entry and exit point to get downtown and further in the city.

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Hey there, I'm an old person and I an open to having the school there. Let's all watch our stereotypes.

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Was there any mention of increasing bus service along those corridors? 800 additional humans isn't a massive change, especially when schoolkids are just slightly off-schedule from regular rush hour and they're essentially reverse commuting, but it'd be nice to use them as an excuse to get more transit.

If Rozzie ever wants real, proper transit, like the Orange Line replacing the Commuter Rail, they're going to have to deal with the fact that other people will come into the neighborhood. Jesus Christ, this meeting reads like something from rural new hampshire

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But the school's transportation coordinator said the trains most of the kids would take (two in the morning and two in the afternoon) are currently largely empty, so plenty of room to handle extra riders. And he said that in a meeting, T officials seemed amenable to adding additional stops at Bellevue if needed (not sure if that means new stops on existing trains or new trains, which would be something). He did allow that he had not studied the impact on ride times of having trains wait for several hundred additional riders getting on and off the trains at two stops (Bellevue and Forest Hills).

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There is only 2 inbound trains (early PM) that don't stop at Bellevue, and one outbound train (AM) - I would guess he is talking those. As far as I have known, they can't really fit anymore trains on the Needham line at this point - its pretty ham-stringed by all the other NEC traffic.

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The residents fear the arrival of those people. Are they talking about teens or (T) people?

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I live near there, and drive past most days to take my kids to and from school. I would not look forward to increased traffic and crowds of pedestrians there every morning, making for a slower and more hazardous drive. However, I also take public transportation to Forest Hills other days and agree that it is quite doable to get to that site via public transportation.

So there are certainly arguments on both sides of the traffic/transport issue, but it sounds like some of the discussion has gotten way beyond that and taken on quite racist overtones. If any parents, administrators, or students of the school are reading, please know that I am ashamed, I am sorry, and that not all of the neighborhood feels that way.

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A number of residents yelled "No!" and said they have nothing against the school, but that that corner is just the wrong location for it because of the traffic and parking issues.

This is Boston. Where wouldn't traffic and parking be an issue? I'm tired of hearing the argument that we need better resources for families from the same people who refuse to allow these resources into their neighborhoods.

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The people at the meeting know who they are. The meeting proved it. I was born in West Roxbury in the 1960s, family been here since 1950. The only way that crowd is ever going to be happy is to build a wall around West Roxbury to keep "the others" out.

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What did they do that now causes people on Belgrade not to trust establishments? (I've lived on Belgrade for 12 years and I don't recall the problem).

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It was stated as if "the problem" was common knowledge. What happened? ("They told us we they were going to open an ice cream shop and it only lasted 9 months!")

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I'm guessing it's due to the annoying double parking outside Stash's and people pulling into and out of parking spaces without looking, sometimes popping u-turns from the parking lane. I have witnessed many almost accidents in front of Stash's.

I lived on Walworth until last year and had to drive to Dedham every day to pick up my kid from daycare (something else that Roslindale could use more of given the horrendous waitlists).

As much as a high school in Roslindale makes sense, this is the wrong location. That's an awful stretch of Belgrade to get past on most weekdays and for a variety of reasons, traffic is already backed up enough as it is. Also, the 35, 36 and 37 schedules are intertwined so that there never seems to be enough buses to accommodate for increased demands. So 500+ kids (excluding parent pick ups and locals) will wind up having to walk back towards Forest Hills (@2.5 miles) or hang around waiting for their train or bus.

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The kids are going the opposite direction than most commuters, though. I used to take the 36 (sometimes 35,37) outwards in the morning to work at the VA and those busses were E E M P T Y. Totally full coming towards Forest Hills, though, I agree - plus bunched up like a nightmare,

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Not only a show of Nimbyism, but racism too! Seem like these "neighbors" not only have a sense of entitlement, but also, an inability to compromise.. A school sounds like a good proposal to me. Much better than another Bank or restaurant in West Roxbury/Roslindale!

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The location of this school is in a dangerous intersection for traffic, safety, environmental issues and the future results of the cumulative developments, which have been approved and not built or functioning YET!!! Belgrade has more apartments coming. Belgrade gas station is being converted into apartments. Lords and Lady's has a very large development. Greaton Rd and Center has 12 condos with Greaton Rd. new entrance. Willow St apartments are yet to be built. There is a new project at Center and Church, which was just revealed in the Bulletin. Then we have the upcoming Weld and Center apartments and on and on. Throw in the nightmare traffic from Putterham Rotary to Enneking Pkwy. and beyond. Unfortunately, all this construction is in the same area as the proposed Roslindale charter school, which is all part of Boston!
Take a look at Belgrade from W. Rox. Pkwy. corner up to Center and you will see 2 sides of parking, 2 bike routes and 2 lanes of traffic.
The school is under Uncommon Schools, which looks great if you read the summary. However, if the Roxbury Prep hopes to attain a full high school in accordance with the expectations of Uncommon Schools, then there is the possibility of after school, Saturday and Summer school, as well as sports competition with other schools. I applaud all of that. However, it is the location, safety, and traffic that cannot accommodate that type of project. Unfortunately, during last night's meeting, people who attended had to hear the reality of a car accident, sirens and worry for somone who encountered the actual traffic problem and congestion at the area under discussion. I wish the city had a way for residents to learn about proposed construction in a better way than Transcript, Bulletin, chance abutters, hearsay, Parkway in Motion, Chronicles . Hopefully, our City Hall local liaison will find a way for all residents, young and old to share an easy way to communicate and help prevent meetings like March 1!
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What's the project at the corner of Centre & Church Sts.?

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They cant be outwardly NIMBY or racist so they just say some nonsense about traffic and parking.

Same excuses that they use to try and prevent mosques from being built.

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As I was reading this, I was thinking, "the only thing missing from this is some kind of reference to Wellesley."

I'm glad I read until the end.

My only other reaction to this was that it reminds me of the historical accounts that I read of the 1970s. Surprisingly (given the license that has been given by people at the federal level), the commentary was not as overt as it could have been (unless Adam cleaned it up), but I could hear that 1970s-era message coming through pretty clearly ("You know where I stand" etc.)

I found this comment, which sounds like it might have been offered in an earnest/pleading kind of way, to be particularly ominous:

"It's nothing about the children," one Iona Road resident said. "Please don't do this to yourself - or to us."

Adam, since I wasn't there, could you offer some context for that one?

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Don't forget some of these people probably voted for our original proto-Trump, Dapper O'Neil for years.

Funny our little neighborhood can both have people protesting racism at the Square while only steps away from a plaque commemorating that piece of garbage. Truly, Roslindale is diverse.

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Why is the number of students always limited by the developer and even by Adam the reporter? Look at the Rox Prep website -

"Roxbury Prep High School opened in the fall of 2015, serving all students graduating from Roxbury Prep's middle school campuses and additional students drawn from a lottery. Serving up to 900 students, Roxbury Prep High School offers"

http://roxburyprep.uncommonschools.org/rpc/campuses/roxbury-school

check the website yourself and ask "why did they tell the abutters it would be "a couple hundred students" at the fist meeting; then "around 700 students" at the second meeting; and even here they are saying 800 students?

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The ancient rallying cry of the most insufferable people in the world.

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As a father of three girls in Boston Colleigate and a lifelong Rosliindsle resident (50yrs). I say stop sounding and looking like southie in 1975. Traffic and parking is that the best you can come up with? Westiie will never change still all snotty and racist.
Hey Roxbury Prep just wait acouple of more years and Holy Name will probably give you a great lease.
Charter schools are the best thing to happen in the city in years. It would be nice to have some more local options in the future, also charter school kids aren't going to be causing trouble, their held to a much higher standard then the kids at say the complex on the parkway.

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As a "Westie" resident, I resent you're calling all West Roxbury people snotty and racist. I am neither. You, however, sound like a jerk, so actually, maybe I would be snotty to you. When you put down residents of another neighborhood, it makes you sound jealous of that neighborhood. Heck, it's what I do to a place like Wellesley. I put them down as racist snots but in reality, I want what they have.

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Because your closing sentences show you know as little about Wellesley as you claim other people know about West Roxbury.

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Residents not wanting a HS which serves almost no pupils in the area is racist, but Dudley residents fighting to stop "gentrification" (white people moving in) is progressive....

This is no different than the opposition you see from ALL COMMUNITIES in Boston during large projects. Its just happens to involve a majority white area and pupils not from there. And calling everyone a racist i guess is the easiest rebuttal when you don't have a valid one. It's no different than calling ALL Trump supporters Nazi's

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So how many Roslindale/West Roxbury residents is this high school going to displace? Your talking apples and oranges buddy.

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On Washington Street is a huge unused, undeveloped plot of land. In walking distance to Forest Hill and not in a residential area.

Problem solved; better for the proposed neighbors and easier commute for the students.

You're welcome,

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At the corner of Belgrade Avenue and West Roxbury Parkway there is a plot of land that already has foundations put down, and it is zoned commercial.

The lot you are thinking of, in taking the google satellite view, is being used for what looks to be light industrial right now. But if it is ever developed in a different way, it would be a great place for transit oriented development. Walking distance to the subway and the Arboretum, and you won't have any pesky NIMBYs to contend with. Of course, who knows what is in that soil.

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This land in question is not up for sale for development. It is being held in trust, so the only things that can be built in this location is something like this school, perhaps retail space, or an apartment building, but certainly not condos. The area is not strong enough to support any more retail space, we already have enough banks, pizza places, and nail salons for the community. If you think that a school, one that opens before most people leave for work and closes before most people come home is a problem, can you imagine what a nightmare it would be with a 75 unit apartment complex there? Let's also consider the parking problem if it's an apartment complex, where do you think all of these people will park? Even if they have to provide one space for each apartment, do you think there will only be one car per apartment? No, and they'll be parking in the spot that you work so hard for to clear during the winter. There are already two apartment buildings going up in the neighborhood, I don't think the area can sustain any more.
Boston is a wonderful city, and out neighborhood is filled with great opportunity. Let's keep it open for everyone.

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I suspect a piece of the problem is development in that area that is close to each other. You have this school, the new apartments proposed for McCraw and Belgrade (across from Stash's) and the apartments at Belgrade and Beech. You'd have non-stop construction on going for months if not years. There are no regulations or laws that require such projects to coordinate with each other as well. Each would be self-contained. That's a lot of construction.

Also, let's face it... the efforts by Roslindale residents to re-zone the community a few years ago is going down the toilet. People spent almost 2 years defining what they wanted in the way of residential and business zoning in order to keep Roslindale what it is today - a nice place to live. Or as some like to say... "quirky."

However that same influx that came to Roslindale because of this zoning and community make-up is now seeking to impose new thinking that includes more-density. It's been seen here and on Facebook.

Developers are savvy to this and have been buying up lots and building what ever. Some have been buying up older homes and demolishing them in order to put up multiple dwellings. The rents at the shops in Roslindale Village have also been going up forcing out those same "quirky" businesses that drew people here in the first place.

Unfortunately, once that happens Roslindale will be just another place where urban sprawl took over. The newbies need to look up the revised zoning and embrace it. that is what is making Roslindale a nice place to live and making it desirable. The people who are often proposing something else have no clue at the great lengths people went to with local government, community committees, meetings (loads of those) and working with hired agencies to help with the process.

Did you know that for the most part height is limited to 35 ft? Taller - need a variance. Two parking spaces (off street) per dwelling. Less spaces?- need a variance. And a pet peeve, business windows are supposed to allow you to see inward by a high percentage. The auto parts store and the dollar store violate that all the time. There are plenty of others as well.

Yet the newbies don't know this and allow for the variances. So they will soon vary themselves out of what drew them to Roslindale in the first place.

Upset about how some fo the people in that neighborhood reacted? Well, I'm not really surprised at all. They are saying, "Enough is enough," and this school was the collateral damage that managed to break the camel's back. I'd best-guess that had this been an apartment building or a strip mall you'd have seen the same outrage.

As to city government failing to help uphold the recently enacted (just a few years back) new zoning for Roslindale. Oh... there are going to be a lot of new faces after this next election. All you will need is one candidate willing to run on a platform of keeping the status quo, just like the residents established through a well-reasoned and democratic process.

As to the school... I have no skin in that game or neighborhood. Best fo luck with it, but the ongoing development that is changing Roslindale, well it's time we stopped the sprawl and stick to what the residents established and hold the ground. That's what is making Roslindale... Roslindale.

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sprawl

You keep using that word; I do not think it means what you think it means.

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I would prefer a highschool than another sober house that seems to be expanding and serving more people outside of Boston than its local residents. Traffic and overpopulation in Boston is inevitable. It is rising along with the cost of living. People need to get over their false reasoning behind parking , traffic and location. Tell the real truth about why you dont want to see something positive happen in your community. I truly feel it has nothing to do with the above. You should be ashamed of yourselves for not wanting to support a place of learning in your neighborhood. And moreso for giving a BS reason for not wanting a positive addition.

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There will be 1,200 high school seats at Roxbury Prep not 800 seats. In Roxbury Prep's final DESE application questions, they stated, "we want a big high school for the financial sustainability." They stated that 1,200 students were required to finance all the courses they need to meet the conditions of their charter application. They stated that they thought about the financial issues "very deeply." So it would seem that 1,200 students at this location is Roxbury Prep's ultimate goal.

Roxbury Prep Charter Network schools are located in Dorchester, Roxbury and Hyde Park. According to Roxbury Prep's application, parents in those neighborhoods supported their schools because they were located in their neighborhoods, and they didn't want to put their children on the bus. I imagine the disappointment of those parents, who have made a commitment to Roxbury Prep charter, and expected a Roxbury Prep neighborhood high school for their child, not a two hour bus ride to another community, adding to an already long, extended day program.

So it puzzles me as to why Roxbury Prep doesn't want to build a new High School Campus in a central location to their other schools. Especially when all Roxbury Prep schools share the SWD, ELL, and other support staff. Moving to West Roxbury would just increase their travel time, taking it away from the time they meet with students and support teachers.

West Roxbury has many high schools that can meet the needs of students, West Roxbury Academy, Urban Science Academy, Catholic Memorial, Roxbury Latin are all great schools that can meet any parents needs. So why does Roxbury Prep want to locate there in a space that is too small for 1,200 students?

Last year Roxbury Prep started to funnel up their high school students, who didn't make it into the exam schools, into the buildings they already have. In 2015-16 they started out with 175, 9th grade students, but only 109 of those students enrolled in 10th grade, It will be interesting to see how many students are actually left to take this years MCAS test and how many are enrolled in 11th grade next September. Roxbury Prep is a "Level 2" school, it is easy to eliminate the "achievement gap" when you have a selected group of students!

On Roxbury Prep's website, "Are you interested in attending Roxbury Prep beginning IMMEDIATELY? Roxbury Prep has a limited number of openings for the CURRENT school year." There appears not to be a "wait list" for Roxbury Prep because they are recruiting students who want to go Roxbury Prep this year. Given the loss of 66 high school seats, are they accepting students for other grades to make up for this financial loss? Remember charters don't have to backfill seats in the grades where the loss occurred. Will traditional BPS high schools have to brace themselves for the influx of Roxbury Prep 10th grade transfers, and their test scores, every year?

http://roxburyprep.uncommonschools.org/enroll

http://www.doe.mass.edu/boe/docs/fy2011/2011-02/item2_rpcs_interview.pdf...

http://www.doe.mass.edu/boe/docs/fy2011/2011-02/item2_rpcs_apprev.pdf#se...

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