P.S. 51 to Return to Hell's Kitchen in September

By Mathew Katz on January 16, 2013 4:23pm 

HELL'S KITCHEN — P.S. 51, the Hell's Kitchen school that moved to the Upper East Side after construction forced it out of its building, will return to the neighborhood in September, Department of Education officials told DNAinfo.com New York.

In 2011, the school moved to Our Lady of Good Counsel on East 91st Street after parents and staff complained of terrible noise and dust from the massive Gotham West construction project next door.

In September, students will start the year at a brand-new, 630-seat building at 525 W. 44th St. following completion of the school and the residential complex.

The new building is part of a massive redevelopment of the block, including the Gotham Organization's $520 million, 1,200 unit residential development. As part of its deal with the city, Gotham gave $15 million to help replace P.S. 51's old 276-seat building and also built 682 units of permanently low- and middle- income housing into the complex.

For the past two years, parents at P.S. 51 had to adapt from living around the corner from the school to having to bus their kids to another part of the city. Because of the crosstown commute, parents banded together to create an app that tracks kids on their bus trip.

"Families have something big to look forward to," said Katherine Johnson, a former P.S. 51 parent whose daughter will enter the school next year.

"It's a brand new building. It's going to be great."

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