FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 13, 2019
NEW BEDFORD – Alma del Mar has secured temporary space for its new charter public school at the former Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception school building in the Near North End section of the city.
The school will serve as Alma’s temporary home while the now-closed Kempton School undergoes renovations to ensure it is a safe and welcoming space for students. If city approvals are granted, the City of New Bedford would convey the Kempton to Alma del Mar later this spring.
Alma’s temporary space, located at 136 Earle Street and down the street from Alma’s flagship school, includes 12 classrooms, a gymnasium and stage.
“We have been preparing to open a new school and welcome 200 new scholars into the Alma community for several months, but until the Kempton building is ready, we need temporary space,” Gardner added. “We are looking forward to when we will be able to move into our permanent home at the former Kempton school.”
“We are grateful to Father Reis and the team at Immaculate Conception and the Diocese of Fall River for opening their doors to our growing school community,” said Will Gardner, Executive Director at Alma del Mar. “The features and condition of the space, as well as its proximity to our current school campus, make it the perfect temporary home for our new school.”
In January, Alma received approval from the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to open a new charter school in the city. Alma and the city have been negotiating a unique agreement to operate the new school at the old Kempton site pending various city and state approvals.
If all approvals are received, Alma plans to open at the Immaculate Conception site this August and will initially serve 200 students. This new school will grow over four years to serve 450 children in grades K-8 who are enrolled from the district’s former Kempton neighborhood.
After the Kempton property is transferred, Alma’s facilities team will conduct a round of thorough site inspections to determine the repair and improvement needs of the school. Findings from an initial site visit in early February included significant water damage and the need for a new boiler. A large addition will also need to be constructed on the property so that Alma may eventually serve 450 children at the school.
Alma will unveil revitalization plans for the Kempton property later this spring.
About Alma del Mar:
Alma del Mar is a K-8 public school operating under a five-year charter granted by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The school is tuition-free and is open to all children in New Bedford. Our mission is to put every one of our scholars on the path to college and to challenge them to be service-minded leaders. We are achieving this mission by providing a highly demanding, highly supportive education to every scholar who walks through our doors. Alma del Mar features a longer school day, a longer school year, high expectations for all scholars, and outstanding teachers from across the country. We currently serve about 450 scholars in grades K-8 at our flagship school located at 515 Belleville Avenue.