Prospect Hill Academy Charter School to Renovate Buildings Thanks to $6.5 Million Bond from MassDevelopment

December 14, 2009


Kelsey Abbruzzese, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2086
Anja Bresler, Prospect Hill Academy Charter School, 617-284-7822

MassDevelopment today announced that the Agency is providing $6.5 million in qualified zone academy bonds (QZABs) on behalf of Prospect Hill Academy Charter School, a regional charter school in Cambridge and Somerville that serves nearly 950 students in kindergarten through twelfth grade. The school plans to use bond proceeds to renovate two buildings that it currently leases in Cambridge from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston. The project is expected to create 10 new jobs.

The School has outgrown its existing space. Planned renovations will bring the buildings up to code, modernize classrooms, and upgrade systems, and will allow for programmatic improvements and expansion in student enrollment. One of the buildings, a five-story former parochial school, will serve as Prospect Hill Academy’s high school, while the adjacent building currently serving the high school will house 7th and 8th grades and the administrative offices.

“These renovations will better equip Prospect Hill Academy to achieve its ultimate goal: preparing children in the Commonwealth for college success and instilling in them a love of learning,” said President and CEO of MassDevelopment Robert L. Culver. “We’re proud that MassDevelopment can help finance the needed upgrades to these buildings, with the added benefit of new jobs for the Commonwealth.”

MassDevelopment issues QZABs for school renovations and upgrades in certain qualified school districts. QZABs are tax-credit bonds: the federal government provides a tax credit to the bondholder in lieu of the issuer paying interest to the bondholder, making these bonds the equivalent of interest-free financing.

“Since its inception, Prospect Hill Academy Charter School has been extraordinarily resourceful in its ability to adapt to a number of buildings that, quite frankly, have fallen short of what our students deserve,” said Head of School of Prospect Hill Academy Jed Lippard. “Due to the advocacy of MassDevelopent and the generosity of Century Bank, however, we are thrilled to be entering a new era where our facilities will reflect, rather than drive, our ambitious academic program priorities.”

MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development authority, works with businesses, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2009, MassDevelopment financed or managed 229 projects statewide representing the investment of nearly $1.2 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are supporting the creation of 1,488 new housing units and 8,232 jobs: 3,362 permanent and 4,870 construction-related.

Founded in 1996, Prospect Hill Academy operates out of three campuses. Though its students live in 30 cities and towns in Massachusetts, most come from Somerville and Cambridge. The lower school is in Union Square, Somerville; the middle school is in East Somerville; and the upper school is in Cambridge. Prospect Hill Academy works to prepare each student for success in college, inspire a lifelong love of learning, and foster responsible citizenship.