-By Dan Murphy
Advent School representatives met with members of the Beacon Hill Civic Association (BHCA) and the community last Tuesday to address their concerns with the school’s planned expansion to a former office building at 99 West Cedar St.
The school has entered into a multi-year lease for the 5,400 square-foot, two-story building, located just off Charles Circle, said Head of School Nancy Harris Frohlich. The new space, which will house a studio for arts, engineering and design, a teacher research laboratory and a presentation space, will open in time for the start of the new school year in September.
School officials said no more than two or three classes, consisting of approximately 18 students each, would occupy the new building at any given time. The space would also be open for the school’s summer program, which typically draws around 15 children.
Expected hours of operation for the new building are from the beginning of the academic day at 8:30 a.m. until after-school activities end at 6 p.m.
“We’re not going to having buses pick up or drop off students there…or a regular car pool,” Harris Frohlich told the crowd of approximately 20 at the school’s main building on Brimmer Street last week. “That’s not our intention.”
Harris Frohlich added, “We would also make the space open to the community when we’re not there.”
A primary concern among those in attendance was the condition of the adjacent parking lot, owned by Waltham-based Eastport Real Estate Services.
Mark Cohen, chairman of Advent’s board of trustees, said the school is leasing two spaces in the parking lot to accommodate deliveries to the new building and would be willing to address the upkeep of the lot with the property owner.
“Landscaping, fencing and cleaning the parking lot are things that we feel comfortable talking to our new landlord about,” Cohen said.
Also, Harris Frohlich said cleaners would remove trash from the new building each day and a private contractor would pick up recyclables once a week.
While Cohen said the school wouldn’t enter into an agreement with the community as the Park Street School previously did, he said the school would agree to form a liaison group with BHCA members to address ongoing concerns with the operation of the new building.
“We’re willing to work with the Civic Association, but we’re not keen on signing an agreement,” Cohen said.