As students prepare to head back to the classroom, Boston Public Schools recently announced $10-million in building upgrades made to area schools.
“Providing spaces that are eco-friendly, welcoming, safe and state-of-the-art is an important part of supporting academic excellence for all students,” BPS interim Superintendent John McDonough said in a statement. “Teams from our facilities department are working around the clock to make sure every school is ready to go when students return from summer break.”
Teachers returned from summer vacation on Tuesday and students at most BPS schools return September 4.
An estimated $1-million was spent by BPS to repaint a number of schools throughout the district, with extensive work being done to East Boston High School.
The Boston Community Leadership Academy in Hyde Park received new science labs and Brighton High School got a new cafeteria, as part of the upgrades.
A new heating and cooling system was installed at the Carter Development Center in the South End and the TechBoston Academy in Dorchester received a new roof. The Trotter Elementary School in Dorchester also got a new roof in addition to repairs to its exterior masonry. The new roofs and the additional masonry work at the Trotter are expected to improve the energy efficiency of the structures, according to BPS.
An additional $1.4-million was also invested in security upgrades at 26 BPS schools and include key card access, video cameras, and public address systems.
Work also took place outside the classroom.
The school yards at the Higginson-Lewis K-8 School in Roxbury, the Mission Hill K-8 School and the Manning Elementary in Jamaica Plain, and the Mario Umana Academy in East Boston were repaired over the summer as part of a BPS and Boston Schoolyard Initiative effort.
The UP Academy Charter School of Dorchester, which replaced the Marshall School, also received a number of upgrades to its exterior as part of the 2013 Mass Art Community Build Project. Undergraduates from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design constructed new planting beds and benches for the building's entrance.
“We consider the summer our busy season, so it takes quite a bit of coordination and attention to detail to make everything work,” Khadijah Brown, director of BPS Facilities Management, said in a statement. “Our teams are the best in the business and we cannot wait for students to see the changes we have in store for them next week.”