Students and staff members at the Global Learning Charter Public School in New Bedford recently took part in a groundbreaking ceremony for a new academic building.

After searching for years for another site in the city, school officials decided the perfect location was just 25 feet away from their present campus at 109 Ashley Boulevard, the former St. Anthony's High School.

Executive Director Steven Furtado joined Townsquare Sunday this week and said the former St. Anthony's convent building at 106 Bullard Street will be converted into a new education center where Global Learning students will study science, technology, engineering, arts and math.

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The reconstruction project is expected to be completed by August 2022. The estimated price tag is around $8 million, with much of that already raised through grants and donations. The biggest chunk – $2 million – was donated by Dr. Irwin Jacobs and his wife, Joan Jacobs, wonderful benefactors of education in New Bedford for many years.

Furtado also said the charter school has recently signed a 25-year lease with the Fall River Diocese, so Global Learning won't be going anywhere.

Furtado also reviewed the school's academic successes, its special relationship with Dr. Jacobs and his wife, and how the school continues to deal with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Townsquare Sunday is a weekly public affairs program heard every Sunday at 6 and 11 a.m. on 1420 WBSM and 99.5 FM. The program highlights individuals and organizations working to make the SouthCoast a better place to live and work.

If you would like your organization featured on Townsquare Sunday, please e-mail the host at

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