Mayor Martin J. Walsh, City and state officials, and members of the Boston Arts Academy Foundation, along with Boston Arts Academy (BAA) representatives, today raised the final steel beam into place to complete the structure of the new, $125 million BAA facility on Ipswich Street, directly across the street from Fenway Park. The event marked an important milestone for BAA Foundation, which raises essential funds through philanthropic sources to bridge the gap between BAA’s allocation from Boston Public Schools (BPS) and the true cost of a high-quality arts education.
At a time of great societal change for young people across the country, construction of this world-class building for Boston’s only public high school for the visual and performing arts serves as a bright, shining example of the ingenuity and innovation of the Boston Public Schools’ vision for the future. BAA students, faculty and the community at large will reap the benefits of the expanded space, which will soon open its doors to BAA’s rapidly growing student population. The event will be covered by NBC 10 Boston, NECN, NBC Sports Boston and Telemundo Boston, BAA Foundation’s official 2021 multimedia partners.
Led by mistress of ceremonies and BAA student body president Anya Edwards, the topping-off ceremony marked a major milestone in the construction of the new building, transforming the school’s previous facility into a state-of-the-art education institution in the heart of Boston’s ever-expanding, diverse Fenway neighborhood. The building is expected to be completed by Spring 2022 and will open for students for the 2022-2023 school year. The new school will accommodate more than 500 students, an increase of nearly 15% from the current student body.
“This amazing school building will serve future generations of the most creative, artistic young minds from every neighborhood of our great city,” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “This school is a shining example of what public education can look like and is a powerful demonstration of the City of Boston’s commitment to providing every child with access to an excellent education and a supportive and affirming learning environment.”
“Boston Arts Academy has a long tradition of cultivating amazingly talented students and providing them with an enriching and welcoming school community where they can express their creativity and showcase their incredible art,” said Boston Public Schools Superintendent Brenda Cassellius. “All BPS students deserve beautiful state-of-the-art facilities like the new Boston Arts Academy complex. This campus is an example of the facilities needed across our city so that all our children have the opportunity to thrive in joyful learning environments. I know the students and our dedicated staff are thrilled that we are one step closer to their new school opening!”
Boston Arts Academy provides arts-intensive academic training for students from every neighborhood in Boston. The school’s mission is to prepare a community of aspiring artist-scholar-citizens to be successful in their college or professional careers as well as engaged members of their communities.
In the days prior to Tuesday’s ceremony, BAA students decorated the beam with their artwork, and many BAA teachers, administrators, school officials, caregivers, alumni, and community leaders contributed notes, forever embedding their messages into the steelwork of the school itself.
“We are proud of this monumental step in the transformation of this one-of-a-kind school,” said Denella Clark, BAA Foundation President. “This building will give our students the chance to learn, explore and dream in a facility worthy of their talents and ambitions. We are grateful to Mayor Walsh and the City, to Treasurer Deborah Goldberg, the BPS, and to our generous supporters who make it possible to provide our students with greater opportunities to further their growth as artists, students, and citizens.”
The new building will expand BAA’s space from approximately 121,000 square feet to 153,500 square feet, and it will feature a bold glass façade, theatre marquee, and rooftop green space. The new building will stand five stories tall – an expansion on the previous three – with new and greatly enhanced performance and rehearsal spaces, including a premier 500-seat theater featuring a proscenium stage, a black box theatre, dance studios, music practice rooms, and fashion technology studios and workspaces. These spaces will be outfitted with the latest technologies used by big-name artists and headlining entertainers, thanks to generous donations to the BAA Foundation made by prominent local companies like Avid Technology. The facility will also include a gym and a health and wellness center for students.
To view the ceremony, please visit Boston.gov.