Boston swaps real estate in North End to expand Eliot school
The City of Boston agreed today to a real estate swap in the North End that will allow a popular public grammar school to potentially double in size.
The $11.35 million deal will give the Eliot K-8 School a second campus with four buildings on North Bennet and Tileston streets. While it will take a few years to renovate the buildings, the extra space will be a boon to the Eliot, a school with an enrollment of 322 students that has a wait list of 295.
The partner in the land deal is the North Bennet Street School, a private vocational institution where students learn to make fine furniture and musical instruments. The North Bennet Street School has acquired the city’s defunct printing plant at the corner of North and Richmond streets. The North Bennet Street School will pay $4.6 million in cash and give the city its four buildings, which have been appraised at $6.71 million.
In a statement outlining the deal, Mayor Thomas M. Menino described the Eliot as a “true gem.”
“Parents have urged us to expand this small, successful school,” Menino said in the statement. “Expanding the program helps us deliver on our promise to provide quality educational choices in every part of Boston and connect schools with the communities they support.”
The four buildings -- 37-39 North Bennet St. and 48-52 Tileston St. in the North End -- are a short distance from the Eliot K-8 School.
One North End parent, Jennifer McGivern, greeted the news with enthusiasm. McGivern’s 5-year-old is in kindergarten at the Eliot, and she hopes her 3-year-old sibling will be able to join her.
“It shows that the city of Boston is a place where families can stay and can raise their children,” said McGivern, 37. “It gives hope that it is a priority.”Andrew Ryan can be reached at email@example.com Follow him on Twitter @globeandrewryan.
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