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April 5, 2021

Worcester charter school to move to shuttered school site

Photo | Google The former St. Mary's Schools on Richland Street in Worcester

The Learning First Charter Public School in Worcester will move to the site of St. Mary's Schools off Vernon Street to occupy a building that closed last year.

Learning First plans to start a $14-million renovation this fall and move in over the summer of 2022. Those costs will be funded primarily through tax-exempt bonds, donations, historic tax credits, and cash the school has saved, Learning First said.

A limited liability corporation registered to the charter school's business services manager and others bought the site on April 1 as part of a $4.3-million deal.

Learning First will move from 51 Gage St. to the St. Mary's site, which it said in an announcement Monday is a better fit with more parking, a bigger gymnasium and other classroom needs. The charter school, which has 670 students, was called Seven Hills Charter Public School until changing its name last year, not being affiliated with the Worcester-based Seven Hills Foundation.

The St. Mary's Schools closed last summer, having served around 200 students from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, according to the Catholic Free Press, part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Worcester. It was affiliated with Our Lady of Czestochowa Parish.

The St. Mary's site at 50 Richland St. includes a 51,000-square-foot brick school building and a three-story multi-family house facing Endicott Street. The property was sold by a limited liability corporation registered to Jeffrey Edward Cunningham of Worcester. The deal includes a small property across Richland Street that provides parking for the school.

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