EAST HARLEM — Officials broke ground Wednesday on a $30 million six-story charter school building, featuring a robotics lab, gym and community cafe.
East Harlem Scholars Academy Charter School will move into its new home at 2050 Second Ave. and East 105th Street in 2016.
“This groundbreaking marks an exciting milestone in our campaign for East Harlem," said Jeff Ginsburg, executive director of the charter school and the after-school program. “East Harlem students deserve a great education and high quality facilities.”
The new building is part of the charter school's goal to serve 20 percent of all East Harlem public school students through its full-time and after-school programs by 2020.
Ginsberg also hopes to increase East Harlem's 13 percent college graduation rate through the College Scholars program for college students. More than 80 percent of the students in the program, which provides them with book stipends and academic advice, are on track to graduate from college, he added.
Until construction is completed, Scholars Academy will remain at the Jackie Robinson Educational Complex on Madison Avenue.
Central Park East, the progressive elementary school planned to open a middle school in the complex but the space was given to Scholars Academy instead. The move angered local parents who felt the charter school was getting preferential treatment.
During the summer, the Department of Education said it would try find another location for Central Park East's middle school expansion.
"The DOE is engaging with families, the CEC [Community Education Council] and stakeholders throughout the community on plans to expand CPE II to serve students in middle school grades," a DOE spokesman said.