By John Lynds
Flanked by East Boston’s elected officials and Excel Academy Charter High School students, staff and administrators, Governor Charles Baker cut the ribbon on Excel’s brand new high school on Bremen Street.
“On my commute to the State House, on the on ramp to the tunnel, I got the chance to see everyday this building going up from the ground,” said Baker. “It is really pleasing to see so many of these kids that get up every morning and take a couple of buses and a train to get here and they do it because they want to be here. They believe their chance, their shot, their opportunity is going to come from here. There is nothing more precious to a family or a young person than the opportunity to get the kind of education that is going to give them a shot at whatever their dreams may be or their possibilities could be.”
Formerly the site of Paul’s Park and Fly, the last of the park and fly companies that once dotted Bremen Street, the new $25 million Excel High School was built on stretch of land that now includes a state of the art library and the sprawling 18-acre Bremen Street Park.
“Today represents a very significant moment for us at Excel – as a signal of our commitment to help our students succeed in college by providing them a compelling, rigorous and fun high school experience, as a signal of our commitment to East Boston and Chelsea where we have been so warmly received since we opened our first school in 2003, and as a signal of our broader commitment to proving that the quality of a student’s education does not need to be defined by their zip code,” said Excel’s CEO Owen Stearns. “On behalf of the nearly 1,000 students and 170 staff at Excel, we feel deep gratitude for all the people who have helped make this high school a reality.”
The 70,000 sq. ft. facility consists of 35 classrooms for grades 9-12 at the site located at 413 Bremen St. The new two-acre campus includes the main building, community rooms, a cafeteria, gymnasium, office space, and support space. The school also includes a 30-car pick up and drop off area, a dedicated bus pull off area, a 50-space parking lot for faculty and visitors, and a 24,100 square foot outdoor student courtyard.
“I remember the first day when I arrived and the teachers presented their mission–to have a good education in our own community that would prepare us for high school, college and ultimately changing the world,” said Destinee Hernandez. “Imagine one day walking into MGH and an Excel student is the chief surgeon; imagine reading the news and finding out that an Excel student has been nominated to the Supreme Court. These are grand goals and for now my classmates and I are fulfilling the first part of that mission in a school that feels like home.”
Governor Charlie Baker joins Excel Academy Charter High School student, Destinee Hernandez, and Eastie elected officials as well as Excel staff and administrators in cutting the ribbon on the school’s new Bremen Street high school.
Governor Charlie Baker and Excel CEO Owen Stearns talks with students.
Governor Charlie Baker addresses the crowd.
Governor Charlie Baker tours the new Excel High School.
Former Senator Anthony Petruccelli, Governor Charlie Baker, Rep. Adrian Madaro, Debra Cave and Father John Nazarro.