By Patrick Hedlund
DNAinfo News Editor
LOWER EAST SIDE — Middle schoolers at Girls Prep have reportedly secured new space in the East Village to accommodate the charter school's expansion plan.
A total of 125 fifth- and sixth-graders from the East Houston Street school will move to 51 Astor Place in Cooper Square, the Lo-Down reported, after delaying the start of classes last week to look for the space.
The school’s decision to look elsewhere for classroom space came following protests from parents and elected officials over its planned expansion within the East Houston Street school, which would have shuffled students from a special-needs school that shares the building with Girls Prep.
Following the outcry, the Department of Education backed off a plan to use an “emergency declaration” that would have bypassed an earlier state ruling against the expansion.
“Our number one goal has been making sure all of our students have the space and resources they need, and while we’ve always had a plan that allowed Girls Prep to serve their students on-site without displacing one single child with special needs, placing Girls Prep Middle School in private space this year accomplishes this same goal,” education chancellor Joel Klein said in a statement.
“We remain committed to finding a permanent home for Girls Prep students moving forward.”
The 125 students scheduled to begin school on Aug. 16 decided to postpone the start of classes to avoid possible litigation stemming from challenges to the expansion plan.