Judge Allows Construction for Controversial UWS Charter School

By Leslie Albrecht on July 1, 2011 1:15pm 

Two lawsuits are aimed at preventing charter school Upper West Success Academy from moving into the Brandeis Educational Campus.
Two lawsuits are aimed at preventing charter school Upper West Success Academy from moving into the Brandeis Educational Campus.
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DNAinfo/Leslie Albrecht

By Leslie Albrecht

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

UPPER WEST SIDE — A controversial charter school cleared a hurdle to move into an Upper West Side high school building, but the battle over the school's future isn't over yet.

A state Supreme Court judge ruled Thursday that work can begin on renovations needed to move charter school Upper West Success Academy into the Brandeis Educational Campus.

But two lawsuits that could block the charter school from opening in the Brandeis building have yet to be decided.

The construction decision is a win for the charter school, which has faced vocal opposition from Upper West Side parents who say the charter school will take space and resources away from existing public schools in the Brandeis building.

If it moves into the Brandeis building, Upper West Success Academy will operate alongside five high schools already in the building.

Lawyers for parents who sued to block the charter school argued for — and won — a temporary halt to construction in May.

Now that order has been lifted, the court will now decide the lawsuits seeking to prevent Upper West Success Academy from moving into the Brandeis building.

One was filed by parents of students who attend school in the building, the other was filed by the teachers' union and the NAACP, who are trying to prevent several schools from being closed and charter schools from sharing space with other public schools.

Meanwhile, parents of 184 children who've been accepted at Upper West Success Academy say they're frustrated by the legal wrangling, which could prevent them from sending their children to the school of their choice this fall.

Upper West Success Academy, a new charter school, has faced vocal opposition from some Upper West Side parents.
Upper West Success Academy, a new charter school, has faced vocal opposition from some Upper West Side parents.
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DNAinfo/Leslie Albrecht

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