September 2017 marked the grand opening of the new Eliot Upper School building in Boston’s North End, serving approximately 300 students in grades 3-8. The completely reconstructed 4-story property is located at the corner of Salem and North Bennet Street, the former site of the North Bennet Street School which moved to 150 North Street.
The City of Boston invested $23 million in a 3-year renovation that includes new classrooms, computer labs, a multi-purpose room, and media center all designed for 21st century learning. In addition, the project included construction of a new cafeteria, kitchen, mechanical systems, elevator, fire protection, and accessibility upgrades. Finegold Alexander Architects, located right around the corner on N. Washington Street, were the designers of the project. Being embedded in the neighborhood, they worked with the Eliot School / BPS team to come up with new design concepts while preserving these incredible old buildings.
Most of the students came over from the building at 585 Commercial Street which is undergoing its own reconstruction, the final phase of an overall $43 million project for the two Eliot school buildings. Along with the Charter Street building (serving K-2), the Eliot Innovation School, is currently serving about 600 students. Once all three buildings on the Eliot “campus” come online, the student capacity will exceed 1,000 by the Fall of 2019.
Eliot Innovation School Principal Traci Walker-Griffith, Vice Principal Lydia Torres and parents from the Eliot Family Council hosted a community opening celebration on the Prado/Paul Revere Mall with a barbecue, games, music and a parade that turned into a spirited rush around the school. Students and staff also gave tours of the new Eliot Upper School during the event held on September 24, 2017. Speaking at the event were City Councilor Sal LaMattina and State Rep. Aaron Michlewitz, both who strongly advocated for the building swap/purchase with NBSS, leading to the expanded Eliot K-8 Innovation School project in Boston’s North End.