Center of Activity
MassDevelopment recently issued a $30 million tax-exempt bond on behalf of the Berkshire School, an independent, coeducational, college-preparatory boarding and day school in Sheffield for grades 9 through 12 and post-graduates.
The school will use bond proceeds to build a 17,000-square-foot addition to the existing 31,000-square-foot student center; replace the building’s roof, windows, and mechanical, electrical, and fire-protection systems; and fund furniture, fixtures, and equipment for the building. When complete, the student center will house a kitchen, dining commons, music center, gathering space, snack bar, club space, Student Life offices, post office, bookstore, radio station, and more.
Construction is expected to begin in the late spring of 2023 and be completed in the fall of 2024. TD Bank purchased the bond, which will also fund construction of new faculty housing.
“The Commonwealth is fortunate to have many independent preparatory schools in our education ecosystem that provide quality academic experiences for students and open the door to successful career paths in our communities,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy, who serves as chair of MassDevelopment’s board of directors. “MassDevelopment’s financing solutions gives these schools the chance to make cost-effective upgrades to their facilities.”
MassDevelopment President and CEO Dan Rivera noted that “a key component to a well-balanced academic and social experience is providing students with a place to join together outside of the classroom. We’re pleased to be a part of the Berkshire School’s investment in student life and faculty housing that will improve the foundation of its campus and community.”
Andrew Webster, TD Bank’s vice president and senior relationship manager, added that “we are thrilled to work with MassDevelopment and be a part of the expansion and improvements being made to the Berkshire School campus. The local community is an integral part of what we do at TD, and we are honored to be able to support quality education for the students and faculty who live within it.”
Established in 1907, the Berkshire School is located on a 400-acre campus and serves approximately 400 students from 30 states and 31 countries. It offers signature programs in advanced math and science research and advanced humanities research with a range of artistic and athletic offerings, along with national recognition for its efforts in sustainability. In addition, students have their choice of more than 50 extracurricular clubs, interest groups, affinity spaces, and activities to foster individual talents, promote self-esteem, and encourage leadership.
MassDevelopment has previously supported Berkshire School with tax-exempt financing. In 2018, the agency issued a $3 million tax-exempt bond to help the school build, furnish, and equip an approximately 2,280-square-foot addition to its Spurr dormitory, demolish and reconstruct portions of the building, and replace about 185,000 square feet of existing athletic turf fields.
“Once again, MassDevelopment has stepped up to support Berkshire School in a truly impactful way,” Berkshire School Chief Financial Officer Robert Boyd said. “This financing will help us to build and create an open and multi-functional space where everyone is welcomed and has a place to come together as a community.”