Chelsea middle school gets new $39 million Union Square home

By Sarabeth Sanders | July 12, 2010 06:30PM

10 East 15th Street (source: PropertyShark)

A selective Chelsea middle school that’s been squeezed out of its current space is officially moving to Union Square come 2015.

The New York City School Construction Authority closed on a deal July
1 to acquire the two-story building at 10 East 15th Street for $39
million from the Teamsters Local 810 union, according to property
records made public today. The agency plans to demolish and replace the
existing structure with a new, permanent facility that will house the
Clinton School for Writers and Artists and a 550-seat high school, an
SCA spokesperson said.

While the spokesperson said it is too early in the design process to
estimate the project’s costs, the city has tapped PKSB Architects for
the job, which is slated for completion by September 2015.

The 270-student public Clinton School is currently housed
within P.S. 11, an overcrowded elementary school at 320 West 21st
Street. With P.S. 11 expecting even more students this year, the
Clinton School recently embarked on a controversial year-long hunt for
alternative spaces.

Proposed temporary homes for the school included P.S. 33 Chelsea Prep
at 281 Ninth Avenue and the American Sign Language and English
Secondary School at 225 East 23rd Street. A move to the latter location
was expected to pass at a meeting of the city’s Panel for Education
Policy in May, but the plan was withdrawn at the last minute after drawing criticism from parents, teachers and local politicians.

Earlier this week, Chelsea Now reported that the Clinton School would
instead be taking over 425 West 33rd Street in the fall from the St.
Michael Academy, a recently-shuttered all-girls’ school. The city will
lease that space from the Archdiocese of New York for roughly $1.6
million per year, the SCA spokesperson told The Real Deal, and the Clinton School will remain there until renovations are completed at 10 East 15th Street.

The temporary relocation costs are estimated at $27,000, plus
additional capital “not exceeding $10 million” for renovations because
the St. Michael space currently has only one toilet fixture per floor,
the spokesperson said.

“I’m very disappointed we’re leaving Chelsea,” said Susan
Kramer, a parent and a spokesperson for the relocation committee at the
Clinton School. “It’s a really lovely, friendly neighborhood and we’re
moving into a more business-like area [with the temporary St. Michael
space]… but we’ll be glad to be in Union Square when that building is

The Clinton School’s high school neighbor at 10 East 15th Street hasn’t
been determined yet, but Kramer, who also lives around the corner from
the new site, said the school is angling to ultimately take over the
whole building. “We’re hoping that maybe the Clinton School could grow
into a high school over the next few years,” she said.