The latest plans for the new Josiah Quincy Upper School (JQUS) were unveiled during a virtual meeting co-sponsored by the Boston Public Facilities Department and Boston Public Schools on Tuesday, Oct. 13.
The 116-foot, six-story building with an occupiable-roof will be built on the site of the existing Boston Chinese Evangelical Church building at 249 Harrison Ave., according to members of the design team. The ground floor would be home to an open cafeteria, a library for the school and academic learning time in physical education (ALT-PE) programming while classrooms, as well as spaces for the orchestra and band, would occupy the upper levels. Construction is scheduled to start next summer, and the school is slated to open for the 2024-25 academic year.
Matt LaRue, a senior associate with HMFH Architects of Cambridge, said the site of the new school sits on the “historical gate that connected the Shawmut peninsula to the mainland,” as well as “the main thoroughfare connecting Colonial Boston to mainland that is Washington Street today.”
LaRue added: “This is an important opportunity to revitalize a stretch of Washington Street that needs it today.”
Also, LaRue said the project wouldn’t adversely impacting frontage on Harrison Street, as well as the historic residences on Pine Street.
“Pine Street is an opportunity for vegetation to improve the street experience there,” he said, adding that “pockets” of landscaped space would be created along that street.
(One change from the earlier iteration of the project unveiled in June is that cafeteria and loading dock have been moved to the south side to mitigate the impact on Pine Street.)
The Marginal Road sidewalk, LaRue said, would also be widened to incorporate a bike lane, and while street parking would still be available there, Marginal Road would also be where deliveries to the school take place.
As far as aesthetics of the new building go, Rohn MacNulty, senior project manager for the Boston Public Facilities Department, said its 40-foot base portion of the building would be made of brick to match the appearance of the nearby townhouses, although the exterior design has yet to be finalized.
Brian McLaughlin, chief of staff for the city’s Facilities Department, said during construction of the new school building, modifications will be made to the existing JQUS building at 152 Arlington St., allowing the entire staff and student body of JQUS to occupy it as “swing space” until the completion of the new school.
Afterwards, the Boston Chinese Evangelical Church is expected to move into the space, which will remain in the BPS inventory, McLaughlin said.
Next up: the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) will review the overall project scope, budget and deign scheme on Oct. 28, according to Jim Dowd, senor project manager with OPM, and the Boston City Council is set to vote on the funding for and scope of the project before the deign-development phase begins.