Schools Chancellor David C. Banks helped break ground Tuesday on the construction of a state-of-the-art school in the West Bronx.
Opening in September of 2024, the 433-seat school at 1302 Edward L. Grant Hwy. in Highbridge will be five stories high, fully air conditioned and will serve children from pre-k through the fifth grade, all constructed by the School Construction Authority (SCA).
The new facility is an element of the larger Jerome Avenue rezoning initiative approved by the City Council in 2018 with the goal of improving, restoring and constructing affordable housing. The initiative also aims to support local businesses and to create new opportunities for residents.
“Excellence begins in the classroom, and state-of-the-art facilities like this one provide our students with the resources they need to excel,” said Chancellor Banks during the ground breaking ceremony Feb. 22. “Thank you to our partners at the School Construction Authority, our families, community members and elected officials for helping make this important investment in our students.”
The building will contain three pre-k classrooms, three kindergarten classrooms, 15 standard classrooms, two district special education classrooms as well as reading and speech resource rooms. Additionally the building will feature art and music rooms as well as a library and cafeteria.
As part of this rezoning effort, the SCA and the Department of Education (DOE) have already collaborated on a number of new initiatives to hopefully benefit and enrich the community, including completing a new annex for P.S. 33 on Jerome Avenue and a stand-alone gymnasium for P.S. 246 on the Grand Concourse. Construction is also set to start on a 451-seat school on Morris Avenue.
“Transformative investments are bringing new, affordable housing to this neighborhood and today’s groundbreaking marks the next step to add more seats to meet increasing demand,” said Nina Kubota, president and CEO of the School Construction Authority. “It’s also a wonderful example of government agencies, community leaders, and elected officials working collaboratively to deliver enhanced educational services for students.”
Also in attendance during the ceremony were multiple community advocates as well as state and city legislators who all praised the work of educators, as well as to the SCA.
“We could not have done any of this without the help and support of each of you here today,” said Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson. “And make no mistake, this will be a state of the art facility with all the qualities and amenities that our children deserve. We look forward to getting started on this new facility, so let’s get those shovels ready.”