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Conservatory Lab Charter School Grows in Dorchester with $22.3 Million MassDevelopment Bond

June 20, 2019


Kelsey Schiller, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2011 & 617-694-9695 (cell)

Matt Chapuran, Conservatory Lab Charter School Foundation, 617-254-8904 x109

Conservatory Lab Charter School
Rendering by Arrowstreet

MassDevelopment has issued a $20,580,000 tax-exempt bond and $1,720,000 taxable bond on behalf of Conservatory Lab Charter School Foundation, Inc., an affiliate of Conservatory Lab Charter School. Using bond proceeds, the organization will buy a 1.27-acre parcel in Dorchester’s Upham’s Corner, on which it will demolish an existing structure and build a three-story, 41,800-square-foot school building in its place. The new building will feature classrooms, a dining hall, a gymnasium, performance space, administrative offices, and an outdoor play area, and will house approximately 275 students in grades 3-8. Citizens Bank purchased the bond, which is also being used to refinance previously issued debt. MassDevelopment enhanced this financing with a charter school guarantee.

“Conservatory Lab Charter School has been a leader in urban education in Boston for two decades,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Lauren Liss. “Through our tax-exempt financing, we’re proud to help the school expand and fulfill its mission of empowering children through a music-focused curriculum.”

In 2016, MassDevelopment issued a $3.3 million tax-exempt bond to the Conservatory Lab Charter School Foundation, Inc. to help the school purchase an 11,800-square-foot building in Dorchester, which serves students in pre-K through second grade.

Chartered in 1999, Conservatory Lab Charter School was founded by New England Conservatory Trustee Katherine Pell and Professor Larry Scripp. Its mission is to empower its scholars, artists, and leaders through a unique and rigorous academic and music education. It enriches the community through performance, service, and collaboration, and develops and disseminates innovative educational approaches. Over 20 years, the school has evolved into a pioneering Boston public charter school that fuses music and academics. Its disciplined music study program and inquiry approach propels students to develop indispensable qualities that drive lifelong success: persistence, discovery, hard work, and the joy of learning. Conservatory Lab Charter School enrolls approximately 444 students from Boston’s Dorchester, Hyde Park, Mattapan, and Roxbury neighborhoods.

“As professional scholars, artists, and leaders enter our building, we hope that they will inspire our students, and become inspired by all that our students can accomplish through art and through joy,” said Kay Sloan, Chair of the Conservatory Lab Charter School Board of Trustees. “We are inspired by all who have made this building possible, without whom, this site would never be more than a structure. Because of our supporters' willingness to dream, it will become much more. It will be a home.”

MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2018, MassDevelopment financed or managed 384 projects generating investment of more than $4.1 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are estimated to create or support 10,994 jobs and build or rehabilitate 830 housing units.