A message from MassDevelopment regarding COVID-19. Read more

For the latest information on COVID-19: Vaccines, Cases, Restrictions: Read more


$4M for Easthampton School Renovations

The Williston Northampton School Uses Tax-Exempt Bond from MassDevelopment to Upgrade Academic Buildings, Dormitories & More

November 2, 2021

Matthew Mogavero, 857-248-0868

Ann Hallock, Williston Northampton School 

Aerial photo of the Williston Northampton School, courtesy of the school

EASTHAMPTON, Mass. – MassDevelopment has issued a $4 million tax-exempt bond on behalf of the Williston Northampton School, an independent boarding and day school in Easthampton for grades seven through 12, which will use proceeds to fund upgrades to several buildings and facilities on its campus. Improvements to the campus, which was founded in 1841, include renovating academic buildings, dormitories, the chapel, the head of school’s residence, and outdoor tennis facilities; installing new heating systems, windows, and card access systems; buying equipment and technology; and repaving the athletic center parking lot. People’s United Bank purchased the bond.

“Independent schools like Williston are part of the Commonwealth’s first-rate education ecosystem, and provide unique opportunities that prepare students for success,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy, who serves as chair of MassDevelopment’s Board of Directors. “MassDevelopment’s low-cost financing products help these schools move forward with projects that replace aging infrastructure, modernize campuses, and enhance academic services.” 

“Students will benefit from upgrades to their learning and living experience at Williston Northampton School,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Dan Rivera. “MassDevelopment is pleased to provide tax-exempt financing that will advance these critical campus improvements, help the school stay competitive, and make a positive difference for the Williston community and city of Easthampton.” 

"MassDevelopment's financing preserves jobs and keeps one of the City's biggest employers, the Williston Northampton School, competitive,” said Easthampton Mayor Nicole LaChapelle. “This dual net positive on our local economy cannot be understated in these uncertain fiscal times."

The Williston Northampton School, commonly referred to as Williston, is an independent, coeducational college preparatory school located on a 125-acre campus in the center of Easthampton. In 1841, Samuel and Emily Williston formed Williston Seminary, a coeducational school that taught classics and science. It was renamed Williston Academy in 1924 when a more modern curriculum was adopted. In the same year, Sarah Whitaker and Dorothy Bement founded the Northampton School for Girls and a close relationship formed between the two schools, which lasted until they merged into The Williston Northampton School in 1971. As a boarding and day school for students in grades seven through 12, Williston challenges students to grow intellectually, socially, and morally through a rigorous academic program providing programs in the fine and performing arts, competitive athletics, and a comprehensive range of extracurricular activities. Students benefit from nearby recreational, cultural, and educational opportunities including those offered by the five-college consortium of Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, and the University of Massachusetts. Williston serves approximately 490 students from 19 states and 26 countries. Williston employs 227 full-time and part-time individuals. 

“Working with MassDevelopment and Peoples United Bank has allowed Williston to significantly improve the school’s facilities to advance the school’s program and enhance the student experience,” said Williston Chief Financial Officer Chuck McCullagh. “Also, these important improvements help us to continue to provide a great environment for our 227 full-time and part-time employees.”

MassDevelopment, the state’s development finance agency and land bank, works with businesses, nonprofits, banks, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2021, MassDevelopment financed or managed 416 projects generating investment of more than $1.86 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are estimated to create or support 6,578 jobs and build or preserve 1,909 housing units.