Closed Brighton school to be sold to neighborhood group

BRIGHTON -- The Archdiocese of Boston and the Presentation School Foundation (PSF) were set to announce Oct. 19 an agreement for the sale of the former Our Lady of the Presentation School in Brighton.

The agreement states that the property will be sold to the foundation for $1 million, half of the initial PSF offer. In exchange, the foundation agreed not to use the property to house an elementary school -- which includes grades 1-8.

Kevin M. Carragee, chair of the Presentation School Foundation told The Pilot in a telephone interview the day before a planned press conference to announce the agreement that this agreement is “a win, win, win. A win for the archdiocese, a win for the foundation, a win for the Allston-Brighton Community.”

“We are pleased that the archdiocese and the foundation have found common ground,” he said

The agreement serves the interests of the Allston-Brighton community, the city of Boston and the archdiocese,” he said

Carragee characterized the price concession on the building as “an indication of the archdiocese’s support of what we want to do with that building.”

“The foundation’s entire board deeply appreciates the dramatic reduction in the purchase price,” he added.

In a prepared statement Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley expressed satisfaction that an agreement was reached, so that “this important building will continue to be used for the benefit of the local community.”

“The negotiations have been a long process for both parties, we are thankful that today we are able to announce the sale of the school building to the foundation,” he added.

“Through the foundation’s commitment to the community they have developed initiatives that will serve adults and children and strengthen the surrounding neighborhoods,” he said.

This agreement comes 16 months after the school was closed two days earlier than planned to prevent a rumored occupation of the building. The resulting cancellation of graduation ceremonies at the school caused a public outcry.

The protests prompted a meeting between the PSF and Cardinal O’Malley that outlined a process to work toward the sale of the building to the PSF.

Carragee said the uses for the property will include affordable pre-school, YMCA after school and summer programs, adult education programs, including English as a second language and education enrichment programs in reading, math and science.