Ross questions school move cost

December 2, 2011
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City Councilor Mike Ross asked the City Financial Commission (FinComm) to investigate Boston Public School’s (BPS) plan to move Mission Hill K-8 School to Jamaica Plain, following the BPS School Committee’s approval of the plan Nov. 15.

“They are spending an obscene amount of money to move three schools—close to $10 million,” Ross said in a phone interview with the Gazette.

Contacted by the Gazette, BPS spokesperson Mathew Wilder declined to comment on Ross’s letter, which he said he had not seen.

Boston Arts Academy and Fenway High School currently share a building in the Fenway neighborhood. Under the approved plan, Fenway would move to Mission Hill K-8’s Alleghany St. building, allowing both those schools to expand, and Mission Hill K-8 would expand into the former Agassiz School building, which it would share with the new two-way bilingual high school, the Margarita Muñiz Academy.

Those are three of the half-dozen school changes the plan proposes. But, Ross notes in a Nov. 16 letter to the FinComm, they will generate 229 of the 500 seats proposed in the plan and cost $9.9 million, while the rest of the plan will cost $3.9 million.

FinComm Director Matt Cahill told the Gazette that the commission would decide this week whether to move forward with an investigation.