Another high school coming to 26 Broadway
The former Sports Museum of America space at 26 Broadway will reopen as a high school in the fall of 2011.
The Dept. of Education inked the deal last month for just over 100,000 square feet on the first and second floors of the old Standard Oil tower near Bowling Green. Once the city renovates the museum’s gift shop and exhibit space, it will hold about 660 high school students, D.O.E. spokesperson Jack Zarin-Rosenfeld said. He declined to give the cost of the 30-year lease.
The city is already renting the fourth through seventh floors of 26 Broadway, where the Urban Assembly School of Business for Young Women opened last fall, and where the Greenwich Village Middle School is moving in September. Those two schools total 180,000 square feet and the 30-year lease is costing the D.O.E. $250 million.
Zarin-Rosenfeld said the new lease at 26 Broadway would replace some of the space the D.O.E. lost at 220 West 58th St. That space used to house the Landmark High School and the Coalition School for Social Change, but the city’s lease expired last year and both schools have since moved elsewhere. Zarin-Rosenfeld did not say whether one of those high schools or a different one would move to 26 Broadway.
Elizabeth Rose, the D.O.E.’s director of portfolio planning, announced the lease at a meeting of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s school overcrowding taskforce last Thursday. Parents were unhappy that the city was using the space for children from outside of Lower Manhattan, since Downtown’s needs for school space are so great.
“This comes as a surprise to us,” said Eric Greenleaf, a P.S. 234 parent, who said Lower Manhattan should be getting more elementary and middle school seats instead.
Rose said 26 Broadway was not appropriate for elementary children because it has no open space. And since Downtown has two new K-8 schools opening, plus the Greenwich Village Middle School moving in, the city did not think the neighborhood needed more middle school seats, Rose said.
— Julie Shapiro