Beacon School Getting New Campus in Hell's Kitchen

By Mathew Katz on August 30, 2011 5:31pm 

The site for the Beacon School's new campus on West 44th Street.
The site for the Beacon School's new campus on West 44th Street.
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DNAinfo/Tara Kyle

HELL'S KITCHEN — The elite Beacon School on the Upper West Side will soon be moving into a second outpost in Hell's Kitchen.

The Department of Education confirmed that a building purchased at 530 W. 44th St. is set to become an additional location for the progressive high school.

Records show the city's School Construction Authority bought the building from the New York Public Library for $40 million on August 17. It was being used by the library as a warehouse for materials from the library's collections.

The Beacon School was founded in 1993 as an alternative to the Regents Exam-based testing system. The students now take some Regent Exams, but also are evaluated on individual projects presented to teachers and staff.

The school boasts a 90-percent college acceptance rate, but has faced issues with high demand and overcrowding in its current building at 227 W. 61st St. A plan to move the school to the larger building on West 44th Street has been in the works since March.

The sale comes after the City Council approved the site for a roughly 1,400-student high school. Finding new space for the Beacon school was part of the School Construction Authority's latest capital plan.

The Department of Education said earlier this year that the relocation could occur as early as September 2012.

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