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Malden agrees to sell Emerson School to Mystic Valley Charter

Posted by Jarret Bencks  January 3, 2013 10:39 AM

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The City of Malden has agreed to sell an old elementary school to Mystic Valley Regional Charter School, which will use the building to expand its high school, according to an announcement from the Malden Redevelopment Authority.

The city will use the $1.3 million from selling the old Emerson School, located at 230 Highland Ave., to upgrade security systems in Malden Public Schools and make other capital improvements, the announcement said.

The deal with Mystic Valley was chosen over a proposal from Boston-based Pizzuti Development, which called for the site to be developed into condominiums.

City Councilor Steven Ultrino, who represents Ward 2, said he was pleased with the decision to keep the property as a school.

"The neighbors have been accustomed to having a school in this area for more than 100 years," Ultrino said in a statement. "The Charter School has proven itself to be a good neighbor and pays particular attention to the upkeep of its properties. This will be a welcomed addition to this section of Highland Avenue."

The charter school plans to pour about $1.5 million into renovations and use the building as an extension of its high school, which is located nearby on Highland Avenue, the announcement said.

"Due to the unprecedented retention rate of our students we have a greater need for high school space than we had anticipated a few years ago," Fran Brown, treasurer of the charter school, said in a statement. "Acquiring the Emerson property will allow us to expand our high school campus on Highland Avenue without much disruption to the existing space."

Jarret Bencks can be reached at bencks.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on twitter @JarretBencks.

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