BOSTON – This Saturday, public officials unveiled a brand new Eliot K-8 School building at 585 Commercial Street in the North End, a $40 million investment in Boston Public Schools.

Mayor Walsh was on site and spoke about the building: "I am thrilled to celebrate the opening of a new Eliot School building," said Mayor Walsh. "This school is a big part of the North End's history, and will remain the heart and soul of this community for decades to come. Thank you to all our partners who made this possible, I look forward to all our students, teachers, families and the entire BPS community enjoying this beautiful building."

The school is now comprised of three different facilities, which all make up the Eliot School. The Lower School, located at 16 Charter Street, serves pre-K, Kindergarten and first-grade students and the Intermediate School at 173 Salem Street serves students in grades 2-4.

The newest addition is the Upper School at Commercial Street, which will serve students in grades 5-8. So what improvements did the Upper School get other than a swanky new facade? Renovations included: "a digital art studio, a technology classroom with robotics lab and laser cutter, media center, and 18 new classrooms that promote collaborative learning. The building also features eight brightly colored projecting bays, which create 'learning nooks' geared for small group instruction and collaborative learning. Exterior upgrades include a new schoolyard with play structure and a brand new roof. The building also features a multi-purpose space that may be utilized by the community."

Reading that, it seems a far cry from my days of public school education, and that's sort of the point. BPS is apparently making a concerted effort to revolutionize public education in the city and break down barriers.

"Every student deserves access to a 21st century education and Boston Public Schools is committed to providing all of our youth with safe, joyful and innovative learning environments," said BPS Superintendent Brenda Cassellius. "This is an exciting time for the Eliot School, and demonstrates the immense value and strength of coordinated community engagement and collaboration for the benefit of our children."  

Let's hope this investment continues. As Cassellius said, every student deserves a quality education. Hopefully the Eliot School isn't the last large-scale renovation we hear about.

Photo by Feliphe Schiarolli on Unsplash