Showa Boston seeks expansion

JAMAICA HILLS—Showa Boston Institute for Language and Culture aims to add dorm beds, classrooms and cafeteria space to its 420 Pond St. complex.

Showa Boston President Ron Provost said that the expansion is necessary to keep up the institution’s financial health in tough economic times. Showa Boston is a branch of a Japanese women’s university that hosts visiting college students as well as visitors of all ages, from elementary school to retirees.

The project continues a multi-year plan to enclose porches and turn them into dorm rooms, adding 20 beds for a total of a little over 300, Provost said. It would also add four classrooms, and expand the cafeteria Showa Boston shares with the British School of Boston. It requires permission for extension of a nonconforming use, because schools are technically not allowed there under zoning code.

The Jamaica Hills Association voted not to oppose the project in December, according to its zoning committee head, Polly Selkoe. The Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council’s Zoning Committee was set to review the project Wednesday night as the Gazette went to press.

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