Project Lawrence

A series of stories in 2014 on efforts to turn around the long-troubled Massachusetts city.

As Lawrence Evolves, St. Patrick’s Parish Broadens Its Mission

December 17, 2014
Father Paul O’Brien conducting Sunday Mass at St. Patrick’s Parish in Lawrence. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

St. Patrick’s Parish has broadened its mission to shepherd not just its flock, but the whole city. People say a lot of this change is because of one man — Father Paul O’Brien.

Lawrence Sees Job Growth, But Unemployment Remains Elevated

June 05, 2014
On the New Balance factory floor in Lawrence, the majority of workers are from the city. But it's a different story in the upstairs offices. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

The old industrial city has been adding jobs at a faster clip than the state. But its unemployment rate remains stubbornly high.

Lawrence Reaches Tentative Teacher Deal

March 19, 2014

If it’s ratified, it will be the first contract the Lawrence Teachers’ Union has had in three-and-a-half years.

Under Receiver’s Rule, Lawrence Schools Show Early Gains

March 12, 2014
Lawrence's Arlington Middle School students walk through the main hallway on their way to class. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

More than two years after being placed under state control, Lawrence’s test scores and graduation rates are improving. So receivership seems to be working, but it’s also sparking the ire of the teachers union.

New Lawrence Mayor Seeks Turnaround For Long-Troubled City

February 04, 2014
New Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera, right, greets students at dismissal from the Oliver School. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Lawrence suffers from a long list of woes, but new Mayor Daniel Rivera has his priorities: economic development and public safety.

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