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$20.3M for New Athletic Fields at BB&N

MassDevelopment Tax-Exempt Bond Buys 6.1 Acres for Athletics

March 8, 2021


Ivis Batista, MassDevelopment, 857-208-4069 (cell) 

Joe Clifford, Buckingham Browne & Nichols, 617-800-2404

Rendering of Buckingham Browne & Nichols School’s planned athletic fields

Rendering of Buckingham Browne & Nichols School’s planned athletic fields

MassDevelopment has issued a $20,375,000 tax-exempt bond on behalf of Buckingham Browne & Nichols School (BB&N), a coeducational day school in Cambridge, which used bond proceeds to buy a 6.1-acre property in Watertown previously owned by Mount Auburn Cemetery. BB&N plans to use the site for athletic purposes, and will build two athletic fields, a field house, and about 80 parking spaces on the land that will be accessible to both the school and the town of Watertown. First Republic Bank purchased the bond.

“The new athletic fields that Buckingham Browne & Nichols School plans to build will enhance its educational offerings for students and create open space for nearby residents,” said Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Mike Kennealy, who serves as chair of MassDevelopment’s Board of Directors. “MassDevelopment's tax-exempt financing is an essential tool for helping nonprofits of all kinds build, renovate, and expand in the Commonwealth.”

“Everyone wins!” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Dan Rivera. “Building the students and families at Buckingham Browne & Nichols School modern athletic facilities while affording more facilities in general to Watertown and other communities is exactly the type of project that MassDevelopment is excited to be a part of. Our $20 million tax-exempt bond will help Buckingham Browne & Nichols School achieve its goal of improving the student experience and continuing to be a good partner to surrounding communities.”

Established in 1974, Buckingham Browne & Nichols School serves 1,013 students from 77 cities and towns in prekindergarten through grade 12. BB&N was created through the merger of two schools in Cambridge, the Browne & Nichols School, a school for boys founded in 1883, and Buckingham School (originally Miss Markham’s School). BB&N currently operates three campuses: the Lower School, located near Harvard Square in Cambridge that serves students in prekindergarten through grade six; the Middle School, also located near Harvard Square that serves students in grades seven and eight; and the Upper School, located near the Charles River in Cambridge that serves students in grades nine through 12.

“The purchase of this property is a cornerstone of the strategic vision for BB&N,” said Dr. Tara Gohlmann, BB&N Chief Operating and Financial Officer, “and we appreciate the financing partnership with MassDevelopment that made it possible.”

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.