Rally to Save the Educational Alliance Art School

Posted on: October 28th, 2011 at 11:09 am by

Renovate, don’t devastate. That was the message sent to the leadership of the Educational Alliance (“EA”) last night at a testy meeting in the fifth floor Art School. After holding a brief rally by a group called the Organizing Committee to Save the Art School, the crowd moved inside to attend the meeting and voice their displeasure to President & CEO Robin Bernstein and her staff about the upcoming renovations. The plan calls for the Art School to be moved into the basement of 197 East Broadway, which has low ceilings, small windows, and little natural light. Popular classes in welding and photography will be eliminated.

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During the 22-month renovation which starts in November, Art School classes will be held at the 14th Street Y and the EA’s Sirovich Center on east 12th Street. The new art school will have three art studios as opposed to the five it currently has. The fifth floor will be converted into a multipurpose room capable of holding senior lunches, teen dances, community board meetings, weddings and maybe even a sweet sixteen.

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What baffles most supporters of the Art School is the program was recently awarded a $400,000 grant by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. “We are completely in compliance with the terms of the grant from the LMDC,” said President Bernstein.

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The renovation is part of a $45 million project being undertaken by the Educational Alliance. The $13 million it received from the city has to be used by the end of the year or it will disappear. The original plan was for the EA to build five floors on top of the existing 122 year-old building complete with an Olympic size swimming pool. Those plans were scrapped due to a lack of funding.

For more information or to sign the petition click here.

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