The Brockton Public Schools in Massachusetts announced in late December that Brockton High School has been invited to move forward into the next phase of a massive, multiyear redevelopment plan to redesign the aging school building.
According to the Brockton Enterprise, Brockton High, the largest secondary school in the state and one of the largest public high schools on the East Coast, has now entered the "eligibility period" of the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) CORE grant program, established in 2004 to help fund the reconstruction of the state's public schools.
After three straight years of submitting requests to rebuild the school, Brockton High and the MSBA will now conduct a feasibility study over the next two years to find the most cost-effective design for the updated building. The plan will either build an entirely new school or fully renovate the current building.
Brockton High, which at one time had an enrollment of more than 4,300 students in grades 9-12, was completed in time for the 1970-71 school year, but has seen few renovations since then, according to the newspaper.
"When Brockton High School opened more than 50 years ago, it was a state-of-the-art facility designed to meet that generation of students' needs," Brockton Mayor Robert Sullivan said in a statement. "Its grandeur and possibilities helped to launch the careers of diplomats, doctors, bestselling authors, professional athletes and world-class musicians.
"As we look ahead to the next 50 years, it is critical that the school addresses the needs of future generations of Brockton Boxers," he added.
The current 584,000-sq.-ft. building, which cost $16.9 million when it was built, includes a greenhouse, multiple libraries, an indoor pool, a 1,600-seat auditorium and a 10,000-seat stadium that is used by the school's 3,800 students.
"I cannot think of a more valued community meeting place than Brockton High School," noted Brockton School Committee Vice Chair Joyce Asack. "This is an important day for every Brockton resident, especially our young people who deserve the best possible educational experience."
School Also Serves as Community Center
The MSBA is a quasi-independent government authority that was formed to reform the funding process for capital improvement projects in the Commonwealth's public schools.
"Today's announcement is the result of years of work by Deputy Superintendent of Operations Dr. James Cobbs and our Operations and Facilities staff," explained Superintendent Michael P. Thomas, a 1987 Brockton graduate. "I'd like to thank the MSBA team for supporting a redesign of Brockton High School and I look forward to working with them over the next several years."
From January to September 2022, classrooms and meeting spaces at Brockton High were rented 3,200 times by community groups. It is the most utilized meeting space in the city and is in use seven days a week all year long.
The Brockton school district told the Enterprise it is committed to an open and transparent process and will provide multiple opportunities for public feedback. As part of the construction project, the school system launched a new website, newbhs.bpsma.org, on which it will post updated information concerning Brockton High's progress.
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