Lynn charter school to overhaul building

November 6, 2018 : The Boston Globe, by John Laidler

With the help of state financing, a Lynn charter school is renovating a former industrial office building to serve as the new home of its high school.

KIPP Academy Lynn currently operates its elementary school at the 20 Wheeler St. building and its high school at a separate 90 High Rock St. building that also houses its middle school.

Helped by a $25.5 million tax-exempt bond issued by MassDevelopment, KIPP Lynn recently purchased the 20 Wheeler St. building and is now overhauling it. The approximately $30 million project will allow for the high school and the elementary school to swap locations, with the high school moving to 20 Wheeler St. and the elementary school to 90 High Rock St.

Because the work is occurring in phases, the elementary school will continue operating during construction. The school relocations will take place once construction is completed in August 2019.

KIPP officials said the project will allow it to offer expanded curriculum and extracurricular opportunities for its high school students, and programming for the broader Lynn community. The high school will occupy 75,000 square feet of 20 Wheeler St. KIPP will use the remaining 45,000 square feet for its administrative offices — now at the High Rock Street building — and as potentially leasable office space.

Lynn is part of KIPP Academy Massachusetts, which also operates a charter school in Boston. MassDevelopment previously provided KIPP Lynn with a $25.5 million financing package in 2011 to build 90 High Rock St. and another $5.7 million tax-exempt bond in 2016 to expand the facility, which KIPP owns.