MARLBOROUGH – It was the middle of a blustery afternoon on Nov. 14.
Students from Advanced Math and Science Academy (AMSA) charter school were waiting for the bus, and some were curious about the podium, tent and refreshments set up by the bus stop.
The objects were for a groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the start of construction for a new academic building.
Most of the students had left by the time the ceremony began, but there were some students among the crowd of staff, parents and city officials.
One of them, ninth-grader Angelina DaSilva, spoke on behalf of the students.
“The creation of this new science building, and particularly the new labs, will support AMSA’s goal of exploring and expanding our scope of knowledge,” she said. “It is such an honor to be part of this historic moment for AMSA, and I hope the future students will appreciate the great opportunities this new building provides.”
The 17,000-square-foot academic building will alleviate current classroom space restrictions and will contain state-of-the-art technology and laboratory equipment to improve learning opportunities for students.
AMSA’s campus currently consists of three former office buildings that have been converted into classrooms, cafeterias and administrative offices.
AMSA recently completed a new section of road allowing traffic to loop around the perimeter of the property, making the center of campus pedestrian-friendly. Landscape improvements and grading for a future gym are planned.
AMSA is funding the project through a combination of school equity ($4 million), a tax-exempt bond issued by Boston Private and guaranteed through MassDevelopment ($24 million) and philanthropy ($2 million). The school has launched a capital campaign to raise the philanthropy portion.
Public charter schools, unlike traditional public school districts, must pay for their own buildings and facility improvements. Charter schools do not have access to state building funds and are dependent on private bank funding and fundraising for campus projects.
Lisa C. Mobley, the school’s new executive director, said the groundbreaking is just the first step toward building the future of AMSA.
“While we break ground today, know that we are not finished,” she said. “We will continue to envision an AMSA that always puts the latest technologies in the hands of our students, setting them up to conduct graduate-level research while still in high school.”
AMSA Principal Mike Nawrocki and Board of Trustees Chair Raul Porras went onto the site and ceremoniously broke ground on the project.
According to Mobley, the project is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2025.
Learn more by visiting www.amsacs.org.