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Officials Cut Ribbon on Washington Heights' Newest School

By Nigel Chiwaya | March 15, 2013 4:32pm

WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — Hundreds of students joined Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott, uptown elected officials and community leaders Friday morning for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Washington Heights' newest school building.

The Community Health Academy of the Heights opened its new six-story, $43.8 million space back in September, but Friday was the official celebration for the community.

"This is all about you," Walcott told the students. "This is about you getting a high-quality education, and not in a great building, but by having a great principal, fantastic teachers and a strong community behind you."

The academy currently serves 572 students in grades 7 to 12. The building, at 504 W. 158th St., features 13 classrooms, plus a computer lab and art, music and science rooms.

In September, Community Healthcare Network and Community League of the Heights will open a healthcare center in the building.

"This is a victorious day for our community," said CLOTH executive director Yvonne Stennet. "It's proof that not only do we believe in our children, but that we are willing to do whatever we must to make sure that opportunities are available to equip them to lead a rewarding future."