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P.S. 191's Move to Brand-New School Building Approved

By Emily Frost | November 18, 2016 5:18pm | Updated on November 21, 2016 8:59am
 The Riverside Center School opening has been delayed and is now expected to open in 2018.
Riverside Center School to Serve K-8 Students
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UPPER WEST SIDE — A pre-K-8 school will get a fresh start this coming fall after a Department of Education panel approved its move, a DOE spokeswoman confirmed. 

P.S. 191, which currently resides at 210 West 61st St. at Amsterdam Avenue, will move into a new school building on West End Avenue that's opening next fall, said DOE spokeswoman Toya Holness. The move was approved by the Panel for Educational Policy Wednesday, she said. 

The new building, known as M342 or the Riverside Center School, is part of the Riverside Center development and sits at the base of a luxury residential tower at 21 West End Ave. at West 61st Street.

The school was promised to open by developers years ago and the opening date was continually pushed back. This summer, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced it would open in September 2017, a year earlier than what was most recently promised.

 A rendering of the new K-8 school to open in 2017 at Riverside Center, a five-tower complex on the Upper West Side.
A rendering of the new K-8 school to open in 2017 at Riverside Center, a five-tower complex on the Upper West Side.
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Dattner Architects

Education leaders and parents view the move as a win for a school that has had its reputation plagued by getting placed on the Persistently Dangerous Schools list, which was widely viewed as a mistake. 

"Our students, teachers and parents are extremely excited to call this wonderful new building our home and are looking forward to starting next September in a state-of-the-art space. This facility will empower our students with incredible resources, help grow our student body and school community, and encourage learning on a new level," said P.S. 191 Principal Lauren Keville in an emailed statement.

The new 21 West End Ave. building has two rooftop playgrounds, science labs and classrooms and a large gym, among other resources. The school will serve 700 students. 

The DOE has proposed that P.S. 452, a West 77th Street elementary school, move into the building P.S. 191 will vacate. While the principal and some parents support the move, calling it an opportunity for growth, other parents believe it will dismantle the tight-knit community. 

The proposed move of P.S. 452 needs Panel for Educational Policy approval as well. The shuffling of schools is part of an ongoing school rezoning process that will come to a final vote next Tuesday.