Excel Academy is proposing to build a campus on Bremen Street in East Boston for a new High School and Middle School. The High School will serve the three Excel Middle Schools in East Boston and Chelsea, as well as the Orient Heights school which will relocate to the proposed campus. The High School and Middle School have two separate entrances. The middle school and shared spaces will be located on the first floor, and the high school will occupy the second and third floors.
The two-acre site is the former Paul’s Airport Parking, and it entirely paved. The site is located near the Airport Station MBTA on the Blue Line, just behind the new East Boston Branch of the Boston Public Library, with the Bremen Street Park beyond. The site abuts the elevated Route 1A / Massachusetts Turnpike Extension to the south, the Library’s parking and mechanical plant to the west, with a gas station, dense two- and three-story residential properties and an automobile repair shop to the north. To the east is an unused, undeveloped paved parcel. A zoning variance is required to allow for educational use.
The site is part of a former railroad and industrial zone re-developed as community spaces, including the East Boston Greenway, the Library and the YMCA. Excel Academy would contribute an important educational institution to this continuous development of public buildings and services, and the broader revitalization of the neighborhood. It will also serve as a critical buffer between the residential neighborhood and the elevated highway.
Excel’s campus is planned for 70,000 SF, including a three-story classroom building completing the street wall of Bremen Street, and a two-story cafeteria and a gymnasium framing a courtyard opening onto the Greenway beyond. The site plan includes a dedicated bus bay, school parking adjacent to the existing Library parking, and a car pick-up /drop-off. The sidewalk and planted beds of the Library extend along Bremen Street through the school site. Between the courtyard and the elevated highway, the existing Greenway plantings provide densely planted screening. A gate is proposed from the courtyard to the Greenway provide access to the pedestrian and bike path, linking the Bremen Street Park to the Airport and Wood Island T Station.
The proposed design divides the long elevation into bays the scale of the residential buildings across Bremen Street. Design elements of the library, including overhangs and louvers, are incorporated into the major entrances and public spaces. The cladding is high-density fiber cement accented with the school colors of blue and gold.
The Excel Academy design embodies the school’s mission to be a strong contribution to the neighborhood community. The new campus will join a series of important community institutions in a revitalized urban