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Upper West Side's Mandell School Expands to the Financial District

By Julie Shapiro | August 16, 2012 5:37pm
The Mandell School is expanding beyond the Upper West Side, with a new location in the Financial District and another planned for the East Side.
The Mandell School is expanding beyond the Upper West Side, with a new location in the Financial District and another planned for the East Side.
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The Mandell School

FINANCIAL DISTRICT — Downtown kids will soon be able to get an elite Uptown education — without leaving their neighborhood.

The Mandell School, a 73-year-old Upper West Side institution, is opening a satellite location at 30 Broad St. in September 2013, the school announced Thursday.

The new 22,000-square-foot school will serve 180 children ages 2 to 4 and will also house a cafe for parents to grab a cup of coffee and get some work done while they wait for their kids to finish class.  

The Mandell School decided to expand to Lower Manhattan after seeing how quickly the area changed over the past few years, said Gabriella Rowe, the head of school.

"It's a neighborhood that is really exploding with families," Rowe said. "Everywhere you look, there's a mommy and a baby stroller."

Some families from TriBeCa and the Financial District are already making the trek to the Upper West Side to attend Mandell's preschool, so Rowe expects to have no problem filling the seats.

The new Downtown school will have a separate entrance in the base of the Broad Street office skyscraper, where the Verizon store is now, Rowe said.

The school will use the entire second floor of the building, which has 35-foot ceilings and enough room for a mezzanine level, which is where the cafe will be, Rowe said.

The young students will take field trips around their neighborhood, visiting local grocery stores and Battery Park City's esplanade, incorporating their environment into the curriculum.

Annual tuition ranges from about $12,000 for the toddlers who come to school only a couple days a week, to just under $22,000 for preschoolers who go five days a week, Rowe said.

Graduates of the 30 Broad St. preschool will automatically receive a seat in Mandell's kindergarten-through-eighth-grade program on the Upper West Side. Those who want to go to a different public or private school will receive free admissions counseling from Mandell, Rowe said.

If there is enough demand, Mandell may eventually provide busing from Lower Manhattan to the Upper West Side and could even open a new elementary and middle school Downtown — but there are no plans to do so now, Rowe said.

In addition to the 30 Broad St. preschool center, The Mandell School is opening a Lincoln Square preschool program at 150 Amsterdam Ave. this fall.

The school is also searching for an East Side location for a future expansion, possibly up by Asphalt Green in the East 90s or down in Murray Hill or Kips Bay, Rowe said.

The Mandell School will begin accepting applications for the 2013-14 school year, including for the 30 Broad St. location, on Sept. 4. The school encourages parents to apply online.