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Major milestone reached in Dearborn STEM Academy construction

The topping off ceremony of Boston's first STEM school marked the completion of the new building's structural steel.

BOSTON - Tuesday, September 13, 2016 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh, the City of Boston's Public Facilities Department, and the Boston Public Schools (BPS) were joined by the Massachusetts School Building Authority and Gilbane Inc. to celebrate a major milestone in the construction of the Dearborn Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)  Academy, as the school hosted a topping off ceremony. The topping off ceremony of Boston's first STEM school marked the completion of the new building's structural steel. The project is slated to be completed in December 2017.

"The topping off of the Dearborn STEM Academy is a major step forward in ensuring every Boston student has the resources and facilities they need to thrive," said Mayor Walsh. "This state-of-the-art facility paves the way for a strong future. As the first new school construction project the City has undertaken in 15 years, the Dearborn shows that Boston is committed to investing in our public education system. Countless students will benefit from the new Dearborn, and I thank all of our partners who are making this new school possible."

The school is funded through Building a Better Boston, Mayor Walsh's $1.9 billion five-year capital plan. In addition, the $73 million project is utilizing state grant funds, and will be reimbursed upwards of  $37 million by the Massachusetts School Building Authority ("MSBA").

The design of the new school is based upon a project-based learning curriculum, with an emphasis on STEM education. There will be a Learning Commons on the ground floor that will include a state-of-the-art library/media center, educational classrooms, and science laboratories that will provide an ideal environment for 21st century learning.  

"From day one, the Mayor, myself, and all respective partnering agencies have been committed to ensuring that these children have access to classrooms that are state-of-the-art learning spaces," said BPS Superintendent Tommy Chang. "I extend my gratitude to all who made this possible. Upon its completion in December next year, the Dearborn building will not only be a school to students, but it will also be a home away from home, supporting the most effective school practices to guide every student to a pathway of success."

"The Academy will ultimately serve a diverse, cross-representation of students, faculty, and staff and will stand as an educational platform to engage students in learning opportunities related to the construction trades," said Ryan E. Hutchins, Gilbane Senior Vice President. "There are so many people who are an integral part of this team who have embraced the challenges of this critical community project, with impressive results and milestones to date. In addition, in conjunction with the City of Boston Residents program and our joint commitment to a diverse workforce, we are proud to share that the current workforce on-site is comprised of 44% Boston residents, 50% minorities and 10.4% females."

The new Dearborn will be four-story, 128,000 square foot new building. It is designed for 600 students in grades 6-12. The forward-thinking academic program envisioned by the Dearborn Community emphasizes project and problem-based teaching and learning, integrated (cross-discipline) curriculum development and delivery, team teaching and faculty/student collaboration.

The design of the new school is based upon the project-based learning curriculum. The academic spaces are organized by cohort. Each cohort will include educational classrooms, science laboratories, and special education instructional space and has access to shared amenities including a Cohort Commons and a Cohort Office. A state-of-the-art library/media center is located on the main floor adjacent to the main entrance. Facilitative Learning Centers within the classrooms include control panels where teachers can energize integrated technology tools such as interactive electronic white boards. The school will have a 50-100 seat Band Room, 50-100 seat Chorus Room, and an 11,500 sf Health and Physical Education space which includes a full-size gymnasium and 2,500 square foot weight and dance/exercise rooms.

The new Dearborn will prepare its students for the ever-evolving landscape of college, career and life opportunities. Dearborn students will graduate with the 21st century skills and will be prepared and motivated to serve as thoughtful, engaged citizens, who contribute to the health, vibrancy and development of their community.

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