The moving of Salesians Boys and Girls Club Executive Director Father John Nazzaro’s house across Byron Street slowed traffic and drew a crowd Saturday.
Spectators lined the street and watched as the triple-decker at 619 Bennington St. was slowly lifted and then hauled across a city street. The entire process took most of the morning and early afternoon to complete.
Onlookers snapped photographs with cell phone cameras and recorded video of the rare sight. Many photos ended up on Facebook and some younger residents were amazed at how such a feat could be achieved.
After all it’s not everyday a large three family home is moved across an entire street in Eastie.
The house will now be permanently located in the Boys and Girls Club parking lot.
The moving of the Salesians’ residence is part of an ongoing project to develop the former Savio High School.
In February developers of the Edward Brooke Charter School in East Boston received Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) approval to convert the former Savio High School on Byron Street into the Brooke’s new home.
The $16.5 million expansion plans at the corner of Byron and Bennington Streets will allow the Brooke to move from its current location on Paris Street to the new Savio location.
In November it was announced that Diversified Project Management, Inc. (DPM), a Newton, based firm had been hired to provide comprehensive project management services for the Brooke facility in Eastie. The Commonwealth’s Designer Selection Board selected the team and the project is expected to complete for the 2014-2015 academic year.
Aside from Saturday’s relocating of one of the two Salesian houses on Bennington Street to the Boys and Girls Club parking lot across the street, DPM’s plans supported by the BRA include a major renovation to the existing 29,700 sq. ft. existing Savio building, demolish the other Salesian house at 617 Bennington Street and adding a 3-story, 13,100 sq. ft. addition to the existing school building.
Following a private developer’s decision to abandon his plans to build condos at the former Savio building last year, Brooke, which opened this year at the former home of the Salesians Boys & Girls Club on Paris Street, stepped in and bought the building.
Currently the Brooke is planning a 475 student, K-8 facility at Savio.
DPM is currently engaged in similar projects for the Codman Square Health & Education Center in Boston and for Westfield State University.
The Savio building has been empty for several years and requires extensive renovation. While the Paris Street facility is just a temporary home for the Brooke, the Savio facility will serve as the school’s permanent future home.
The mission of the Brooke Charter Schools is to provide an academically rigorous public education to students from the city of Boston and Chelsea that will ensure that they are prepared to enter into succeed in college. The school is named after Senator Edward W. Brooke, the first African-American elected to the U.S. Senate and the first and only black senator from Massachusetts. After attending Brooke alumni are have gone on to excel in high school and college, attending and succeeding in schools like Milton Academy, Boston Latin Academy, and University of Massachusetts – Amherst.