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$17M for CREST Art, Music, Computer Classrooms

MassDevelopment Bond Helps Collaborative for Regional Educational Services and Training (CREST) Finance New Location in Andover

April 6, 2021


Matthew Mogavero, MassDevelopment, 857-248-0868 (cell) 

Kim Oliveira, Collaborative for Regional Educational Services and Training, 978-685-3000

Photos of the exterior and newly renovated interior at 20 Shattuck Rd.
Photos of the exterior and newly renovated interior at 20 Shattuck Rd.

Photos of the exterior and newly renovated interior at 20 Shattuck Rd.

ANDOVER, Mass. – MassDevelopment has issued a $17 million tax-exempt bond on behalf of Collaborative for Regional Educational Services and Training (CREST), a nonprofit that provides educational, vocational, and therapeutic programs for children with developmental disabilities. CREST used bond proceeds to buy an approximately 127,470-square-foot newly renovated school building at 20 Shattuck Road in Andover, where the organization will consolidate programs offered at its three existing locations in Methuen under one roof. The new facility, which was recently converted from its previous use as an office building, consists of 62 classrooms, 10 conference rooms, 55 private offices, a gymnasium, a cafeteria, several workshops, including art, music, computer, and woodshops, an auto repair facility, group restrooms, and a kitchen area. TD Bank, N.A. purchased the bond, which MassDevelopment enhanced with a guarantee.

“Nonprofits like CREST help ensure students of all abilities have access to high-quality educational programming in a safe and welcoming environment,” said Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Mike Kennealy, who serves as chair of MassDevelopment’s Board of Directors. “We’re proud that MassDevelopment's tax-exempt bonds can serve as important tools to help organizations finance new facilities and better meet the needs of their clients.”

“Helping CREST own a new home for the important educational, vocational, and therapeutic programs it runs for children with developmental disabilities is at the core of our mission at MassDevelopment,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Dan Rivera. “Imagine the look on the students’ faces as they play in the gymnasium or learn in one of the 62 classrooms, all while experiencing art, music, and computer classes – this funding will help CREST create those experiences for those children.”

CREST is comprised of sixteen (16) member school districts: Amesbury, Andover, Dracut, Georgetown, Greater Lawrence Technical School, Haverhill, Ipswich, Lawrence, Lowell, Masconomet Regional, Methuen, Newburyport, North Andover, Pentucket Regional, Triton, and Tri-Town Regional. The organization offers quality educational programs and services for students with developmental disabilities to supplement and strengthen existing school programs and services that otherwise would be neither affordable nor accessible to each local school district on its own. In addition to providing educational, vocational, and therapeutic programs in the least restrictive environment possible, CREST coordinates intercommunity enrichment programs in the arts, athletics, recreation, and other areas of education. Additionally, the organization offers in-service training and other professional development activities to public school teachers and administrators of member districts, while also providing specialized transportation services to students of member districts.

"Trying to move an entire school during a pandemic with multiple moving parts was beyond challenging,” said CREST Executive Director Kim Oliveira. “Throughout it all, MassDevelopment, in partnership with TD Bank, provided support and assistance every step of the way! We cannot thank you enough for your guidance and assistance in making this long time dream a reality for our students and staff. Our new home has allowed us to move all of our programs to one campus and capitalize on the strength of our entire community. This new facility will allow for greater growth opportunities in the coming years and provide our member districts with a strong asset well into the future."

MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, banks, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2020, MassDevelopment financed or managed 341 projects generating investment of more than $2.69 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are estimated to create or support 10,871 jobs and build or preserve 1,787 housing units.