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State financing aids Montessori school building project in Natick

January 7, 2020 : The Boston Globe, by John Laidler

An independent Montessori school in Natick is building a new elementary school building and a new gymnasium with the help of state financing.

MassDevelopment issued a $4.1 million tax-exempt bond to support the construction project that Riverbend School is undertaking on its Route 16 (Eliot Street) site. The overall $5.9 million project began in October and is scheduled for completion this July.

Riverbend was established in 2010 through the merger of the Eliot Montessori School and Natick Montessori. The school currently enrolls approximately 200 students ranging from 15 months old through eighth grade.

The new classroom building, to be constructed on a vacant portion of the school’s 5-acre campus, will house Riverbend’s lower elementary program, which is grades 1-3, as well as art and innovation classrooms, and space for afterschool programming.

The lower elementary program is currently housed in the former Eliot school building across the street that Riverbend currently leases from the town. The full-size gymnasium will be built behind the new classroom building on the same vacant portion of the campus. The school currently uses the gymnasium in the Eliot school building.

“This project is transformative for our school,” Whitney Slade, Riverbend’s Head of School, said in a statement. “It allows us to build a purpose-built facility that showcases the best of a Montessori education. We appreciate the relationship we have established with MassDevelopment, and look forward to inviting them back in the fall to unveil our new campus.”