Edward Brooke Charter School Has Tree Problems

Developers for the Edward Brooke Charter School are asking the city and community for permission to remove a tree on the corner of Bennington and Byron Street so construction crews can move the Salesian Society’s rectory building from 619 Bennington Street to a new site at 635 Bennington Street.

The Norway maple at the corner has been a long-standing shade providing tree located at the MBTA bus stop on Bennington in front of the former Savio High School.

Back in February, Diversified Project Management, Inc. (DPM), a Newton, based firm hired to provide comprehensive project management services for the Brooke facility in Eastie, received Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) approval to convert the former Savio building into the Brooke’s new home.

The Commonwealth’s Designer Selection Board selected DPM and the project is expected to complete for the 2014-2015 academic year.

DPM’s plans supported by the BRA includes a major renovation to the existing 29,700 sq. ft. existing Savio building, relocating one of two Salesian houses at 619 Bennington Street to the Boys & Girls Club parking lot across the street, demolish the other Salesian house at 617 Bennington Street and add a 3-story, 13,100 sq. ft. addition to the existing school building.

While approved by the BRA, DPM would still need several variances including variances for parking, building height and use of occupancy.

The Boston Parks and Recreation Department will host the public hearing to discuss the proposed removal of the tree on Tuesday, July 9 at 10 a.m. in the 3rd floor Conference Room of the Boston Parks and Recreation Department located at 1010 Massachusetts Avenue.

The City of Boston Tree Warden, who may accept or deny DPM’s application, will hold the public hearing.

Public comments can be made to the Boston Parks and Recreation Department by calling (617) 635-7275 or by submitting written comments to:  Boston Parks and Recreation Department, Attn: East Boston Tree Hearing, 1010 Massachusetts Avenue, 3rd Floor, Boston, MA  02118 no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, July 5.

A decision regarding the request will be made within two weeks of the hearing.

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.

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