Lawrence Catholic Academy Breaks Ground On New $30 Million School Building

Photo: James Rojas/WBZ NewsRadio

LAWRENCE, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — A brand new school building is in the works at Lawrence Catholic Academy.

On Monday, the academy broke ground on a $30 million construction project that will build the new facility behind the three current ones, which were built between 1906 and 1926. The school's website describes the current buildings as "aged" and "woefully inadequate for meeting current and future educational needs."

"They’re very clean, but they’re gonna fall apart in the next decade unless we completely rebuild," Father Paul O'Brien, LCA's president, told WBZ NewsRadio Tuesday.

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According to school officials, the three LCA buildings are plagued with significant problems such as: insufficient classroom spaces; subterranean spaces that are prone to flooding; aging HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems; no dedicated spaces for hands-on science activities; inadequate spaces for Early Childhood Education; no space to assemble the entire student body; a 35x40 foot gym with concrete floors and walls that is too small for team sports; outdating and failing windows, ceilings, and flooring; and an entire floor of one building that is structurally unstable.

The new 42,221-square-foot facility intends to address these issues. Plans include two modern classrooms for each grade from Kindergarten to Grade 8, an expansion of Early Childhood Education classrooms, dedicated science spaces, new HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems, and zero below-ground spaces.

Following the new facility's construction, the school's current buildings will be demolished and replaced with a recreation center that includes a gymnasium and auditorium.

"[It] will be the first entirely newly constructed Catholic inner city school in this archdiocese in more than half a century, so it’s a big project," O'Brien said.

The academy has already received $28 million in donations to cover the project's total. Construction on the new school building is expected to finish by July 2025, with students expected to move in that September.

WBZ's James Rojas (@JamesRojasMMJ) reports.

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