Ahead of the official ribbon cutting ceremony for the KIPP Academy Boston Charter School in Mattapan, we’ve been looking back on the journey from concept through construction, culminating with our office tour, and the first day of school. Here is what some of the team had to say about working on the project.
Bringing buildings to life through strategic design is what we do, but designing schools such as KIPP Academy Boston that will directly impact the future for its students brings a special sense of purpose to our work.
KIPP Academy Boston truly supports the mission of strengthening the sense of community here, and stands as a sign of KIPP’s commitment to enhancing the quality of education available in our public schools. We look forward to this new school becoming a center for education and a community asset for the neighborhood. We hope that through our work we have contributed to the enrichment of this community, and the KIPP families who will enjoy coming to school here for decades to come.
The new school, anchored in the heart of Mattapan, will further enhance KIPP’s mission of ushering inner-city youths To and Through college, with a focus on building school community. The new building exhibits forward-looking architecture that offers exciting new programs, technological advancements, and state-of-the-art assembly spaces to its students, families, and local community.
It is our intention that the design of the new facility will serve as daily inspiration for our next generation to do their best work. Studies have shown the presence of natural light in interior spaces heightens the act of learning; we’ve coupled this quality with vibrant color accents, warm tactile surfaces, and accessible furnishings geared to the scale of the students.
As a nation (and more broadly on a global scale) our approach to education is changing at a rapid pace. As designers we feel it is our obligation to understand, adapt, and create learning environments that are geared to respond to the 21st Century. Through a commitment to energy-use reduction; wireless technology; smart-ready classrooms; and flexible and community resource spaces, KIPP Academy Boston is one example of this upward shift.
I always find the end of a project bittersweet; the culmination of many months of planning and construction are finally realized as we prepare to hand the keys over to the owner. Contractors are under deadlines to finish work and receive final inspections, and at the same time, the design team is reviewing the finished work to sign off that the space is ready to be occupied. This is invariably hectic as users are anxious to move in as contractors and subcontractors are finishing work.
As the daughter of two school teachers, nothing says back to school more than seeing teachers unpack boxes of materials and I was able to meet several teachers who were moving in while I was back punching the space. It’s always fun to see students enjoy their new space, but after getting to be in the building to see how the teachers operate for a day, there is no doubt in my mind that the faculty and administration of KIPP are dedicated 100% to the entire community.