Building Blocks: Dearborn STEM 6-12 Early College Academy, Boston Public Schools


One of the oldest districts in the nation recently completed its first construction project in 15 years by rebuilding a school to accommodate STEM learning for grades 6 through 12.

CHALLENGE: Administrators in Boston Public Schools wanted to make an existing school more STEM-driven, but since the building could not support the necessary renovations, it was demolished to make way for a new facility.

“We had to shut down adjacent streets several times because the building was in a tight neighborhood,” says Brian McLaughlin, chief of staff of the Boston Public Facilities Department. 

During construction, classes took place on the fourth floor of a nearby high school. “Class and office spaces were very limited,” says McLaughlin. “It was hard to establish a distinction between middle and high school, which is important for students’ sense of identity and morale.”

SOLUTION: The Dearborn STEM 6-12 Early College Academy offers students a 128,000-square-foot facility with a soaring central atrium bathed in natural light. The new school, which can accommodate 600 students, includes two fabrications labs, a media center, a dance studio, 3D printers and laser die cutters. 

“As our community wanted, we now have an excellent school that prepares students to compete for top jobs in Boston’s tech-driven career landscape,” says McLaughlin.

COMPLETION: August 2018

BUDGET: $73 million

PROJECT TEAM: Architect: Jonathan Levi Architects (Boston); constructors: Gilbane Inc. and Janey Construction Management (Boston); project managers: the Boston Public Facilities Department and Daedalus Project Managers (Boston).

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