Why is this important to BB&N?
The resulting proposed 20-acre complex in Watertown is a linchpin of our strategic plan to build a better all-around experience for BB&N students. This acquisition sets in motion—both near-term and longer-term—-our aspirations to build smart, sustainable spaces for teaching and learning, playing and performing, and building a more inclusive community. Specifically:
- Our plan for the Grove Street property is to build state-of-the-art playing fields that will accommodate multiple athletic programs, as well as a fieldhouse that will feature indoor athletic facilities, team rooms, locker rooms, and community social spaces.
- The addition of these fields embodies our commitment to the health and well-being of our students while also vastly increasing opportunities to build community schoolwide.
- These new fields will not only provide a superior daily experience for our student-athletes, but also provide scheduling flexibility that will make a big difference in the busy lives of our students.
- Our plans for the parcel will include approximately 80 parking spots, offering our community members much-needed flexibility to access our campuses.
- Importantly, the Grove Street property allows BB&N to unlock longer-term campus master plan possibilities on our three campuses that will benefit our entire community for generations to come.
How does this advance our school’s mission of principled engagement?
We believe strongly in the power of building partnerships with our neighboring communities to find solutions that will benefit the health and well-being of children, whether or not they attend BB&N. This community approach is exactly what we teach our students at BB&N—that the world is bigger than what happens on our campuses. Each of these three negotiations has involved close collaboration with neighbors we value highly: Mount Auburn Cemetery, one of the most venerable institutions in this region; the Town of Watertown, whom we are proud to call partners, and the City of Cambridge, our proud home for more than a century. We are grateful that the expected outcomes will so clearly benefit the needs of each organization, as well as neighboring residents.
What’s still to be done?
- We anticipate that we will close on the Grove Street transaction with Mount Auburn Cemetery in late January, following a customary due diligence period.
- Tonight we will appear in front of the Watertown Town Council with Mount Auburn Cemetery representatives to demonstrate our commitment to the joint-use partnership for the Grove Street properties, and to detail the benefits that this partnership would bring to both BB&N and Watertown.
- We will continue to work with the Cambridge City Council to negotiate the disposition of Buckingham Field, which we hope to finalize in early January.
We feel it is important to assure you that our Board carefully evaluated the merits of pursuing these real estate transactions during this time of pandemic uncertainty. In weighing the benefits and risks, we kept returning to our shared conviction that now is exactly the right time to invest in the future of BB&N for the benefit of our current and future students. We are fortunate to be in a solid position to build on BB&N’s strong foundation in a forward-looking, strategic manner.
We recognize that our realization of long-term strategic moves like these are made possible by the steadfast support and unwavering commitment by the members of our community. We are grateful for your continued support. Please feel free to reach out to either of us with any questions.
Wishing you all a happy and healthy Thanksgiving.