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A Year Ahead of Schedule, Mayor de Blasio Announces Opening of New Upper West Side School

August 10, 2016

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Opening in September 2017, new Riverside Center School will provide nearly 700 pre-K through 8th Grade state-of-the-art seats

Department of Education plans to re-site P.S. 191 to the new building for the 2017-18 school year

NEW YORK––Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced that a new school at Riverside Center in the Upper West Side will open a year ahead of schedule in September 2017. As part of the City’s ongoing commitment to Equity and Excellence, the brand-new, uniquely designed, 122,000-square-foot space will provide 692 seats for pre-K through 8th grade students in District 3.

“A new school is an investment like no other – it is an investment in the future of New York City. I’m proud that with a tremendous amount of hard work from the School Construction Authority, we’ll provide this state-of-the art building a full year ahead of schedule,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “All our students and teachers deserve the best – and that’s what we’re giving them. We are committed to continue identifying new locations for additional seats across the City to deliver a high-quality education to students in every borough.”

Located at 21 West End Ave, New York, NY 10023, the new school will be fully air-conditioned, wireless and fully accessible to people with disabilities. The new school also will feature art and music rooms, two rooftop recreational spaces, a library and a science lab that encourages hands-on learning, as well as a medical suite and gymnatorium. The School Construction Authority (SCA) will continue to work closely with the community as The Dermot Company and their contractor, Tishman Construction, continue construction of the new building as it is completed over the next year.

“The accelerated construction timeline will ensure Upper West Side families have a brand new space with amenities including facilities dedicated to music and science,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “The new school will provide an additional high-quality option for families in the district, and I commend the SCA on their dedication to ensuring this project is completed as soon as possible.”

"While we are proud of the work we are doing to transform the West Side, whether it be downtown, Hudson Yards, Javits or the new Riverside neighborhood, we are more proud to support Mayor de Blasio and his team at the SCA in providing this new facility a year early." said Jay Badame, President and COO of Tishman Construction, an AECOM Company.

The Department of Education will submit a proposal this fall to re-site P.S. 191 in Manhattan to the new space. Pending approval from the Panel for Educational Policy, the proposal would move the school and expand its enrollment for the start of the 2017-18 school year. With support from the District 3 Community Education Council (CEC) and the larger P.S. 191 community, the re-site will best serve students at the school and families in the district.

“Our students, teachers and parents are extremely excited by the prospect of calling this wonderful new building our home,” said P.S. 191 Principal Lauren Keville. “This facility would empower our students with vast and incredible resources, it would help grow our student body and school community, and it would encourage learning on a new level.”

The DOE has already begun work with the local CEC, school staff, families and community leaders to review potential rezoning and re-siting scenarios. The DOE will continue to solicit feedback and engage in robust conversations to ensure the needs of all students in the district are being met.

The Five-Year Capital Plan includes $4.5 billion in funding for new capacity and will support the creation of more than 44,000 new seats in overcrowded areas. The DOE is dedicated to addressing overcrowding and is continuing to work closely with CECs, families, community members and elected officials to identify suitable locations for new schools across the City.

"Every large residential development project should include a shining, modern, new school," said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. "I fought for this new school, and I am delighted that the mayor has been able to speed up its opening. It will be a much-deserved new home for PS 191 and will ensure the West Side has enough seats when the new buildings in Riverside South are built.”

"Our students deserve the best facilities as they learn and grow," said State Senator Adriano Espaillat. "The resources this new building provides will help children discover the sciences and the arts, and I am pleased that it will be finished a year ahead of schedule."

“I am pleased that the new school building in the Riverside Center development will open in 2017,” said Assembly Member Linda B. Rosenthal. “This new school building will be a splendid addition to the district, and after the delay, will be welcomed by District 3 students and parents. I look forward to working closely with parents, teachers and administrators and my colleagues in government to ensure that all district schools serve the needs of this diverse community.”

"This new state-of-the-art school will have a tremendous positive impact on the Upper West Side community," said Council Member Daniel Dromm, Chair of the Committee on Education. "I commend the School Construction Authority for successfully building this school a full year ahead of schedule. I remain committed to working alongside the administration to expand and improve public education for all New Yorkers."

"This is an exciting day for the Upper West Side and all of our public school families. We've seen massive residential growth, with little added infrastructure for years – but this time we got it right. This time a school was included in the new development – and this Mayor is bringing the school online sooner than expected – in September 2017," said Council Member Helen Rosenthal. "I want to thank Mayor de Blasio for listening to the needs of this community and stepping up to open this school ahead of schedule."

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