Mayor Walsh releases BuildBPS, a ten-year educational and facilities master plan
March 1, 2017
Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced the release of BuildBPS, a ten-year Educational and Facilities Master Plan for the Boston Public Schools. BuildBPS is a dynamic and strategic document, as well as an interactive digital tool, which provides the City of Boston, Boston Public Schools, and Boston's residents with the data and guidance to bring Boston's school buildings into the 21st Century. This master plan not only encompasses the aspirations and goals of all stakeholders, but lends the data and ideas needed to bring them to fruition.
Since September 2015, information on Boston's student population, school facilities, and neighborhoods has been collected and synthesized to become the foundation of this report. Those findings, partnered with a creative and renewed vision for facilities, will now aid the City, Boston Public Schools and the community in making informed decisions and developing a coordinated approach to revitalizing Boston's school buildings and, by extension, its neighborhoods. BuildBPS is designed to be clear and transparent, so planning and decision-making can happen in collaboration with students, parents, educators and neighbors.
Mayor Walsh announced in his State of the City address a $1 billion investment to begin the modernization of Boston's public school infrastructure, and will rely on the BuildBPS plan to guide that process. "BuildBPS is going to transform the way we plan, build, and renovate school facilities; leading to more opportunities for Boston's students to reach their full potential and prepare for 21st-century success," said Mayor Walsh. "I look forward to utilizing the knowledge, creativity, and dedication in our school communities, to together, re-imagine and renew Boston's public school infrastructure and to provide a brighter future for every student in every neighborhood."
BuildBPS is composed of two main components: the written report and the BuildBPS Dashboard, a web-based data visualization tool.
The written report includes:
- Important updates to the district's vision for student learning and instruction;
- The results of critical school building capacity, demographics and facilities condition studies that will guide investment and construction priority setting.
- Immediate actions that can be taken to modernize BPS schools and a set of planning principles intended to guide the City's and the District's capital projects over the next decade.
- An outline of the next phase of BuildBPS, which will focus on deeper community engagement to guide decision-making and identify near-term projects.
- Plan for financing the next ten years of capital improvements.
The BuildBPS Dashboard, housed on a web-based platform, provides:
- A complete overview of the district, along with individual school data;
Analysis tools and data visualizations that also offer insight into the conditions of school buildings and educational environments, helping users more fully understand the relationships that BPS buildings have with one another and city neighborhoods.
Over the next 10 years, many steps will be taken and much work done in the effort to move BuildBPS forward and modernize Boston's school building portfolio. The following are actions that will be taken immediately to pave the way for future investments:
- Mayor Walsh is committing $1 billion to Boston's school buildings to catalyze long-term investment
- The City will establish a unit to manage BuildBPS projects. The Facilities Management Division of the Boston Public Schools will be merged into the City of Boston's Public Facilities Department (PFD) to create a new division to manage school facilities projects and interface with the Massachusetts School Building Authority and other external entities. This will create the structural and organizational efficiencies Boston needs to meet its major capital investments and facilities improvement goals.
- Implement a robust community collaboration process to guide ongoing and long-term decision making. The first round of engagement will take place over the next few months and will include open houses, public office hours, digital tool tutorials, and individual school meetings. These will be followed by a series of neighborhood workshops as well as other engagement opportunities.
- Begin with a $13 million investment in new school furniture and technology to promote 21st century learning and teaching methodologies. The City is a creating a 21st Century Schools Fund that will be used to make near term investments available to schools across the district.
- Undertake strategic"prototype" projects to create new classroom spaces that model BPS Educational Vision standards.
The City of Boston and Boston Public Schools will continue to revisit the document to adjust to feedback and accommodate change over the next ten years. For more information, please visit www.BuildBPS.org.